Summerhall, Edinburgh – until 27 August 2016
Reviewer: Linus West
Lacks punchline: Mamoru Iriguchi’s creation 4D Cinema uses potentially genius technological techniques, but wastes it on 50 minutes of un-witty surrealism.
The holder of more than a dozen awards, it would be expected that Iriguchi would be able to produce something wonderful from the imaginative idea of taping a projector and cardboard screen to his head, using it to tell a story. Now and again he provides glimpses of the inventive ways in which this format could have been used, but the performance as a whole falls flat on its face.
It is used, for no apparent reason, to tell the story of German mid-20th Century actress Marlene Dietrich. An interesting tale, but he’s charging people money for theatre, not a history class. It feels random. For the first 25 minutes, the audience is treated to surrealism absent of its famous wit or flowing beauty. It’s like shock comedy, without the shock, or the comedy. Instead it’s just uncomfortable and dry.
Half-way through the performance, all is revealed – the entire production has been filmed live! Is there going to be some genius twist? Will it all make sense? No. Instead the audience simply watches what they’ve just seen, in black and white, backwards.
There are one or two clever one-liners from Iriguchi in this, but most jokes seem childish, and fall flat. His performance as a whole is okay, perhaps. It’s hard to say, because it’s impossible to tell what exactly he’s trying to achieve with this.
4D Cinema uses the technology available to produce cunning techniques, but wastes it on an hour of surrealism with all the entertaining bits removed. Points for originality, but struggles to get past even the basic hurdle of understanding what its message is.
Running time 50 minutes (no interval)
Summerhall, Summerhall, EH9 1PL (Venue 26)
Friday 5 – Sunday 28 August 2016.
Tickets and details from EdFringe website: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/4d-cinema
Mamoru Iriguchi Website: http://www.iriguchi.co.uk/
Mamoru Iriguchi Twitter: @mamoru_iriguchi