Iris Brunette is a uniquely intimate theatre event for 20 people at a time. Seated around a circle of café tables, the audience and performer share the space. Together they embark upon a sortie into a curious cityscape of the future past, guided by Iris Brunette: part time traveling refugee, part compassionate voyeur. As Iris delicately uncoils the events leading up to the destruction of the city, it becomes clear she is searching for a lost loved one. One by one, each audience member finds themselves cast in her journey through the city in time; sometimes passively, sometimes in hope of a response.
Set in an ambiguous post apocalyptic world, Iris Brunette's starkly elegant imagery, tender camaraderie and dense and elegiac sound score, offers a highly crafted and uniquely immersive experience for an audience. It combines the acutely sensory impact of a theatrical event with a rare participatory encounter. Seated around cafe tables inhabiting the same space as the protagonist, the audience are both players and witnesses, occupying a constantly shifting position in relation to the event they experience.
A warmly mournful and disarmingly engaging piece, inspired by the film 'La Jetée' by Chris Marker.
Iris Brunette was commissioned by and developed at BAC. It was first presented there in the autumn of 2008 and went on to appear at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2009, as part of the British Council showcase and at the Dublin Fringe Festival, where it was awarded Best Production. Iris Brunette has recently completed a successful U.K tour, together with companion audio guide Mari Me Archie.
"A remarkable poet in word and sound, going straight to the heart of that longing for a last, precious touch of intimacy." Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, * * * *
"Wilson's tools are not just the word or the physical, but also her own intensity, light and dark, and an extraordinary soundscape that transports us into a dislocating otherness."
"There are few more compelling presences than that of Melanie Wilson."
Lyn Gardner, Guardian
photograph: Gemma Riggs