Kiln Ensemble have created something really special in A Journey Round my Skull. With the use of sound-scaping to accompany a powerful and compelling monologue, performed beautifully by Olivia Winteringham, the audience were put in the place of a man suffering from a brain tumour. Winteringham first welcomed us to ‘our’ latest therapy session and explained that she was ‘our’ Neurosurgeon, Julia. She then proceeded to take us through the journey of ‘our’ illness, through ‘our’ surgery, and on through ‘our’ recovery. All the while we discover more about the love affair that ‘we’ had with Julia when at the height of our illness.
I speak in the first person here purely because that was how immersive the experience became, Winteringham spoke to us as if we were her lover and patient. It was also the use of personal headphones and sound-scape designed to reflect what the patient heard during surgery, as well as the intimate setting, that made this immersion possible. I was engrossed.
The story that unfolded was heartbreaking. Winteringham played the piece with a nuance and grace that endeared her to us instantly making us chuckle and tear up in equal measure. Simply beautiful.
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