Ever Never, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

You can travel through time on a plane if your trip is long enough to cross time zones. But how far back or forward can you go? What if you could, dream-like, revisit the people you’ve lost? This expressionist Taiwanese physical theatre piece, contemplates the people on a flight, their memories and life experiences. 

Though visually striking with relatable moments, the piece relies on sensory stimulation rather than story. It’s lovely to soak up scene after scene emerging from an episodic stream of conscious, but many choices remain unconnected to each other and their choices unjustified.

A short, linear narrative emerges towards the end, but without the programme notes citing the events that inform the work, it’s unlikely the audience would understand its intentions. The performances are good, though – the ensemble endows their characters with convincing intent and surtitles provide an English translation of the script. 

Perhaps its down to cultural differences surrounding grief and time, but Ever Never doesn’t fully achieve the aims it sets out. The time travel/flight idea doesn’t integrate with a daughter’s mourning her father’s passing, either. Though it’s a stylistic feast for the senses, not enough meaning cuts through the superficial aesthetic.

Ever Never runs through 27 August.

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