Light Killer

Aug 13 2014 | By More

✭✭✭✩✩ Shining promise

Summerhall (Venue 26) Sat 9 – Sun 24 August 2014

Offering a unique combination of introspection and dynamism, Light Killer shines a spotlight on the fringe experience, giving pause for reflection.

Light Killer. Photo Veronica Billi

Light Killer. Photo Veronica Billi

Born from the imagination of Italian Magdalena Barile and brought to life through Charioteer Theatre, a Scottish theatre company with cross-cultural international collaborations, and V XX Zweetz, a Swiss creation production company, Light Killer is a play that reflects on the nature of the soul and what it is to be human.

Performed in Summerhall’s anatomy lecture theatre, the play opens with an air of experimentation. It begins with two test subjects, for all intents and purposes, who are being held, voluntarily, in a facility where they must undertake exercises.

The test subjects, known as Mikail and Hotcal, are not quite ordinary though; they are special in that their bodies radiate light. A missing and mysterious character known as The Greek has recruited them and is attempting to obtain this light. The exercises are to strengthen and nurture Mikail and Hotcal’s light to help them shine brighter.

It is a metaphor for life and what makes a person happy; what enables your light to shine and what can take that light away. Mikail and Hotcal, played by Alan Alpenfelt and Adele Raes respectively, embody mental and physical afflictions and show the effects they have on the human psyche.

engaging and emotional

Raes’ performance of Hotcal is playful and incessant, with an air of self-certainty and melodrama. This plays against Alpenfelt’s shy and reserved character, and combined the duo produce some engaging and emotional physical theatre.

Exploring complex emotions of self-worth and vulnerability, alongside religion and the concept of the soul, this could be a profound, thought-provoking piece of theatre. The actors are engaging, the light effects are in parts magical, and the accompanying sound effects stimulating. In particular, the use of the audience to create lighting effects is inspired, drawing them into the piece.

However, this contemplative and introspective mood is countered with a bemusing and bizarre interlude that is the Light Killers. Meant to represent external forces that can extinguish an individual’s light, these characters fail to gel with the rest of the piece. The need to highlight the importance of external influences on a person’s health and wellbeing is evident, but these characters are farcical and one-dimensional, represented by a childish concept of a villain, complete with ‘muahahahaha’ laughter.

Overall, this is a thought-provoking production, with skilled and capable actors, accompanied by stunning effects and placed in the perfect setting. It shows a great degree of promise; however, as it stands, there are some elements that feel misplaced.

Running time: 1 hour
Summerhall, 1 Summerhall, EH9 1PL (Venue 26)
Sat 9 – Sun 24 August 2014
Daily, 18.30
Tickets from:


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