Traverse at CodeBase (Venue 318)
On the headsets, we can see and hear 360 degree filmed images representing the sea around the Great Barrier Reef off north-east Australia, and the bedroom of a motherless ten-year girl called Meera, whose Dad works as a police diver in the area.
On stage, meanwhile – when the screened image tells us to take the headset off – we can see Tessa Parr, as the grown-up Meera, delivering a terrific, absorbing solo performance as a woman suddenly confronted, 20 years on, with the arrest of her now-retired dad for possible involvement in the murder of a school friend of hers, who was thought to have drowned near the reef after running away and stealing a boat.
At the moment, the sheer cumbersome weight of the headset technology involved outweighs any value it might have in relation to this particularly story; the headset material is really only film, rather than a gateway to an interactive world, and could have been projected on the walls with as much vividness and less trouble. There’s no doubt that headset technology may expand the possibilities of theatre in future; but this murder mystery – if it is a murder – gains little from it, and the sheer brilliance of Parr’s live performance only whets our appetite for more of that, and less of the goggles.
Until 27 August. 26 August 6pm and 9pm.