Instructions for Border Crossing, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

https://i0.wp.com/www.thereviewshub.com/wp-content/uploads/daniel-bye-edinburgh-fringe.png?fit=737%2C466

Human instinct to categorise and label everything and everyone extends to drawing boundaries and borders around bits of land, dividing the world up into distinct nations with names and cultural features. They’re arbitrary really, and Daniel Bye channels obscure, near-mythical performance artist Edward Shorter to challenge them.

With rising levels of global racism and xenophobia, border controls have mirrored these attitudes. The UK’s rejection of visas for Syrian artists coming to the fringe is a notable example. But what can we do the combat these attitudes?

Bye’s conjuration of his alter-ego captures an anarchic radicalism that at least some of us long to practice, but lack the courage to do so. He notes that his family and home are major obstacles to Shorter’s homeless, passport-less existence, but there’s a clear undertone of of desire to live the ideals of the scripts, attributed to Shorter.

Creating Shorter as a dramaturgical filter is a clever distancing device, but the brief scripts that Bye reenacts also serve as sharp criticism of immigration and citizenship policies. Using the audience within these scripts develops a critical dialogue addressing the cruelty and absurdity of interactions around borders, but Bye often truncates these before they can be explored with much depth. The final premise of going undercover as a detention centre guard is particularly prescient, though ends abruptly.

Bye is a warm, charismatic performer that the audience supports even though he asks for personal information and endurance from those who volunteer. His calls for revolution and bearing witness are gentle rather than confrontational, but will this be enough to enrage his audiences to the point that they are motivated to action?

Instructions for Border Crossing runs through 27 August.

The Play’s the Thing UK is committed to covering fringe and progressive theatre in London and beyond. It is run entirely voluntarily and needs regular support to ensure its survival. For more information and to help The Play’s the Thing UK provide coverage of the theatre that needs reviews the most, visit its patreon.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s