http://www.ayoungertheatre.com/review-electric-voice-phenomena/ Have you ever been to a séance? Have you ever been tempted to try to contact the other side? Have you ever felt the presence of some ethereal being? Or have you always been the sensible, cynical type that thinks all of that is rot? Well, either way, the boundary-pushing, ground-breaking and dimension-rattling cabaret that is Electronic Voice Phenomena will certainly make you question the beliefs you hold most dear. Electronic Voice Phenomena combines experimental technology, literature, music and performance in a show that focuses, quite bluntly, on death and the afterlife. The project is inspired by the notorious ‘Breakthrough’ experiments conducted by Konstantin Raudive in the 1970s, where he captured voices-from-beyond in electronic noise.
This show is unique. It is not easy, not always clear and certainly not easily comprehensible. But it is fascinating. The wordsmith SJ Fowler acts almost like a compere, being the through line, almost a reference point that keeps the audience anchored into the proceedings. This is very useful, and makes the show nicely coherent. He tells us that he is a conduit the spirits use to contact the living, flipping the perception that it is only the living that tries to contact the dead. He also introduces the idea of a kind of electronic empathy that the living can find with the dead. These are complex concepts that are gradually elaborated on........
........The show always comes back to SJ Fowler. He really stands out of the crowd as an extraordinary performer and poet. The climax of his show comes in a mind-blowing, deeply unsettling and ultimately haunting moment when he is overwhelmed by the bottled resentment he has in him and by the voices of the ghosts that are taking over his head.
It must be said that this show is an acquired taste. There are moments when the art is more about the artist than it is about the audience, and this can make it hard to find a way in. That said, the experimentation in this show is amazing to watch, and the way it deals with such a difficult subject in a head on way is commendable. The show makes the audience feel in a way that most theatre doesn’t. It accesses a fundamental, animalistic emotional response to the material that is hard to explain. And this kind of experiential theatre is incredibly rare. If Electronic Voice Phenomena comes to a theatre near you on its tour, don’t miss it.