Theatre review: The End, Summerhall, Edinburgh

In the large, blank-walled hall of Summerhall’s Upper Church, two young men mark out the space by pacing in wide, straight lines which mirror one another, while Arthur Russell’s tender, downhome Close My Eyes plays.

The End, Summerhall (Venue 26)
The End, Summerhall (Venue 26)

The End, Summerhall, Edinburgh * * *

They wave a comradely goodbye to us, and then march out of the door. The End begins with an ending; but as far as this show is concerned, the three-quarters of an hour we spend here is only the start of a show which will last for the rest of our lifetimes, and until the end of the universe after that.

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On one level this silent two-hander by Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas is a simple work, built on two amusingly physical performances which lie somewhere in the grey area between dance, circus and performance art. The pair – once they have returned – briskly run back and forward, creating resounding percussive slaps by hitting one’s head off the other’s forehead, somersaulting in sequence and rolling across the floor, drawing a laugh when they collide against each other.

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At once, it’s both a piece of light fun and an attempt to explain the meaning of life; and perhaps both, it suggests, are one and the same.

Until 25 August