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Horizon Showcase: The Talent

Words: Jacqueline Ross

4 stars

The Talent is a collaboration between writer Deborah Pearson and performance duo Action Hero (Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse). Gemma is also the solo performer, producing an incredible acting display by boasting an array of vocal acrobatics and natural presence. 

The building blocks of the show consist of a sound booth and a lone voiceover worker. Two other voices direct her to create the product they need. She seems intolerably alone, under duress as she patiently awaits instruction and endeavours to meet their ridiculous demands.

At times it is a difficult sensory watch. Sound laden with repetition, interference and some flashing lights. It almost induces an empathetic sore throat and seat fidgeting. But there are magical cute moments too amidst a bigger picture that questions today’s human purpose.

Jumping to a conclusion of a pandemic society, The Talent puts the voice on a pedestal where human contact is disallowed. But what does it stand for? Is it in control or being controlled? There are themes you may indeed draw from this almost sci-fi spotlight on life.

The Talent is a brave, bold, futuristic piece delivered in a world of its own. It verges on the surreal and provokes an independent thought process on the meaning of talent. Leaving behind a legacy of what human existence might mean both now and in the future.  

Horizon Showcase: The Talent
Summerhall, Main Hall
24-27 Aug


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