ED2011 3/5 Reviews ED2011 Theatre Reviews

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (Edinburgh International Festival / Wind-Up Productions)

By | Published on Wednesday 31 August 2011

It winds me up that, after seven years of scrupulous planning, Stephen Earnhart’s labours have resulted in a visually stunning yet essentially empty experience. His eagerness to emulate Murakami’s style has overwhelmed the greater need for a coherent storyline: so, whilst prostitution scenes recreated through shadow projection are the very flesh and blood of Murakami’s beautifully dreamlike writing, the play’s heart – Tōru Okada’s search around an empty well for his identity – beats quietly under many folds of flashy high-tech fat. A poorly manipulated Bunraku puppet, providing a redundant substitute whenever Okada is off-stage, is a self-effacing addition to the production’s rich cinematography. Like its protagonist, ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ may need a look down the well to uncover its substance.

King’s Theatre, 20 – 24 Aug, times vary, £10.00 – £30.00, eifpp18.
tw rating 3/5