Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016: Scenes from the End

Scenes from the End – a one-woman meditation on the experience of grief and loss – treats an audience to a thought-provoking series of vignettes coloured by provocative soundscapes, live vocals and projections. It’s an escape into a meta-world of thoughts, feelings, and the ways we sometimes risk communicating them unmediated.

Inspired by real life events and the emotions they triggered soprano Héloïse Werner’s show is an engaging one. Instinct might say any performance should be played to a capacity audience. Smaller audiences however, like the one I watched the show in the company of, makes for a far more immediate experience.

Werner’s well-supported voice – as demonstrated in the opening lament – is powerful, it’s quality sweet and clear. A later section entitled Utterances went further to illustrate her remarkable vocal range.

Impressive too was her agility, switching from a fragmented spoken to sung language. What seemed inaccessible lexicon at the beginning of the show, quickly became preferred – an uncluttered language made for a highly sought-after sense of clarity.

Do Not Speak To Me – a masterclass in pent up emotion spilling over into uncontrolled outbursts – was a compelling watch. This was by far the most successful of the scenes in the 45 minute show. The audience was included via a series of potent questions which inevitably led to the whole work lingering long after the applause died down.

The work doesn’t haunt. Héloïse Werner offers an illustration of her own emotional response to one of life’s taboos and as she does so, she leaves the rest of us feeling a little bit more ready for the inevitable.

 

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