Alma Mater

Alma Mater
St Georges West

I expected a great deal more from this show and I would describe it as an art Installation piece, rather than theatre (as it is billed in the fringe programme). With only one audience member per session, the show commenced at the click of a button on an ipad and headphones.

You are given a solitary experience in a white washed room, with a 20 minute film that features no speech. The experience was only partly interactive, and I didn’t feel it was ambitious enough. Tracking a video feed that panned around a similar room to the set (with the ipad), is an Innovative concept, but it lacked continuity and the clever illusion of the children walking around the room was shattered by slight discrepancies in the room, such as bed posts missing. During the event I felt uninspired and It didn’t really make me feel anything. It was just there, and I was locked in time and space hoping for a much more drastic transformation to occur as it has been described as ‘a portable time-warp’.

I expected to be much more involved, but having been told to sit down by the child on the screen gesturing to the stool (as you are instructed to obey this on the door), I was sat down for long lengths of time simply watching the screen, and felt disappointed that there wasn’t more focus on tracking the events on the screen against the surroundings, thus it lacked a sense of liveness. They did manage to transform a white wash stark room into an environment that felt warm and friendly however, as admittedly the children were heart-warming, and did bring a smile to my face. Either Alma Mater; which derives from the Latin meaning ‘mother Godess’ or  the Christian Virgin Mary figure, brings out the maternal instinct in its audience, or I have a hormone imbalance.