Curious, On the Scent

Review in Issue 17-4 | Winter 2005

We all know the sensation of smelling something – a perfume, a food, the odour of someone's body left on their clothes that hurtles us right back into the memory of a person or the heart of an experience. Smell is a time-travel machine and a shortcut to our innermost desires, often bypassing our conscious thought processes. On the Scent, rather than merely referencing this idea, uses it (in real time and real space) to create an all-encompassing theatre-of-the-senses: smell is crucial, yes, but also our taste, touch, sight, sound and kinetic senses are evoked.

Audience members in small groups enter a home occupied by three female characters (Helen Paris, Leslie Hill and Lois Weaver) with stories to tell and experiences to invite us into. At the heart of the piece are the questions: what is our identity and where is 'home'? A sizzling chop, a slug of tequila, Parma violet creams, smoke curling up from the ashtray, cookies devoured under the bedcovers. Voices soft, harsh, seductive, insidious. Is that Chanel or Dior? Soft sofa or straight-back chair? Carpet or coir mat underfoot? This home is a sculpted environment, the artists have framed a landscape for us, and everything we experience is an opportunity for us to re-evaluate our sensory perceptions, and our interpretations of those perceptions in relation to our likes and dislikes, our memories and desires. We leave with our senses sated, our hearts and minds opened. What more could you want?

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival

Smirnoff Underbelly / An Edinburgh Flat

Date Seen
  1. Aug 2005

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-4
p. 24