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Vox Motus return with the theatre of illusion

Unless something goes drastically wrong during the ‘sawing a lady in half’ trick, death and magic don’t usually mix. At Vox Motus, however, the art of illusion lies at the heart of all they do. And now, the Glasgow-based theatre company which wowed audiences with last year’s award-winning Slick, is tackling the complicated subject of grief.

Co-created by Jamie Harrison and Candice Edmunds, Bright Black centres on a woman struggling to cope with the sudden death of her fiancé. Lost inside the grieving process, she descends into a kind of underworld where nothing is as it seems.

‘The different ways that people deal with death was the starting point for us,’ explains Edmunds. ‘We were originally inspired by a friend of Jamie’s, whose fiancée died in tragic circumstances and her mother went on a round the world trip, which was very cathartic. So we decided to send our central character on a journey, but through a mythical landscape rather than the real world.’

Conscious that the production should be moving but not relentlessly bleak, Vox Motus has balanced the heavy subject matter with some entertaining theatrical nuances.

‘Illusion has always found its way into our productions but this time we’re using it as a staging concept,’ says Edmunds. ‘We’ve created a void from which objects or characters can appear, and a gravity-defying environment seemed the perfect way to tell a story of grief which wasn’t morose. And because the illusion has the wow factor, it’s visually a real treat.’

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 15–Sat 19 Sep

Bright Black

  • 4 stars

Brand new physical theatre from Jamie Harrison and Candice Edmunds, with commissioned music by Michael John McCarthy of Zoey Van Goey fame, brought into being by Glasgow company Vox Motus. The production tells the tale of a young woman's journey into a dark underworld to find and bring back her dead lover.

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