Hot off the Edinburgh Fringe stage and into the fire of the city’s Studio Theatre with some ghostly storytelling, double act PJ Stanley and Emma Clark finished off their UK tour with a powerful performance of Ghosts of the Near Future at the Festival Theatre’s annexe.
Rapturous applause ended the 75 minute performance of this genre-bending, multi-form story-telling show about extinction and disappearance.
A simple set depicting the dry Nevada desert sees a giant rabbit run onto it at the start of the show which sees the duo set off on a road trip.
Colliding music, storytelling and live micro-cinema, it is a hallucinatory road trip through a vanishing landscape, a haunting collage of miracles and misdirection.
There’s a magician, preacher, nuclear physicist, showgirl, dead cat and the end of the world as we know, all rolled into one, fast paced performance.
You have to be on your wits to keep up with the pair as they hitch a ride as their road trip twists through the desert towards the hot lights of Las Vegas, via a hallucinatory, gasoline-soaked saloon bar.
With sparse, clever props and striking scenography by Georgie Hook, Emma and PJ conjure the grandeur of Death Valley in a shoebox and transform the theatre into a glitteringly sinister casino.
With daft jokes and clever talking, the play is about part-truths which are used to comfort when we have nothing else to say.
Subtle lighting from Alex Fernades and fun sound design by Patch Middleton add to give cinema experience which is thought provoking and allows the audience to ponder on how frightening the future can feel.
The play was originally supported for research and development by the New Diorama Theatre and English Arts Council, with further help from The Barbican Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre, The Maria Björnson Memorial Fund, The Carol Tambor Foundation and The Romilly Walton Masters Award.
PJ and Emma use all their expertise to take the audience on a hallucinatory trip through a vanishing landscape, haunting collage of miracles and misdirection.
It’s definitely a strange one, but powerful, arty, fun and thought provoking!
For more information, please visit: www.emmaandpj.com/ghosts.
Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.
Photographs by Mihaela Bodlovic