The Voice Thief

Aug 18 2015 | By More

✭✭✭✭✩    Interactive magic

Young critics scheme review
Summerhall (Venue 26): Fri 7 – Sun 30 Aug 2015

Surreal, entertaining and quirky, The Voice Thief performed by Catherine Wheels takes you on an interactive tour of MIEVH, a voice correction facility.

For this production, the audience is treated like a tour group, corralled and guided by Beatrice (Amy MacGregor) and two assistants Violet and Cora (Hannah Donaldson and Isabelle Joss). Doctor Broderick McKenzie (Crawford Logan) makes various appearances to demonstrate the inner-workings and purpose of MIEVH – McKenzie Institute for the Encouragement of Vocal Harmony.

Image with previous cast. Photo Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Image with previous cast. Photo Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Doctor McKenzie has an extravagant façade of an overenthusiastic persuasive businessman but his desire to correct voices echoes societal pressure to be perfect. Logan portrays an overbearing father figure who is clearly trying to control his daughter’s life with the aid of his already brainwashed, slave-like assistants. This exterior side of the Doctor is cleverly displayed alongside his more fragile, depressed side later on.

At the beginning Violet and Cora have generic calm and welcoming voices which make them seem robotic and empty. Donaldson and Joss display the change when they rediscover their true voices well with a very noticeable change in accent and energy.

outstanding job

The play begins with a very jovial atmosphere but it turns more sinister as the theme of female oppression comes through climaxing in a powerful confrontation. The jovial atmosphere is aided by an enjoyable, cheesy song sung by the cast to explain the work done at the institute.

Director Gill Robertson has done an outstanding job with this production. The surreal set takes over the basement of Summerhall and is intricately detailed. Lighting and sound are used effectively to make the ludicrous processes seem almost real.

MacGregor provides a great performance as both the obedient, oppressed daughter and later as she becomes more defiant. She engages well with good eye-contact and a great storytelling tone.

This production is thoroughly enjoyable for children but the deeper themes and wonderfully ludicrous set appeal to an older audience.

Running time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Summerhall (Venue 26), 1 Summerhall, EH9 1PL
Friday 7 – Sunday 30 August (not Mons)
Age recommendation: 9+
Daily, not Mons: 2pm and 6pm
Book tickets on the EdFringe website:
Catherine Wheels website:


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