Edinburgh Fringe: Intravenous at the Dram House UpstairsCultureTheatre
Intravenous is a work of multimedia poetry-meets-performance art performed by Bristol-based writer/performer Isadora Vibes. Feminist, honest, erotic, and approachable, this is a work of fragile beauty that trickles through Vibes’ personal history becoming infused with her vibrant sexual energy, her anger, and her deep well of compassion, and touching on subjects ranging from the extremely intimate to the political. Delivered in a mixture of styles including direct address, projected text, and dance, Isadora’s poetry is touching, powerful, intricate, and shocking. Her presence on stage is gripping, drawing us into her conceptual space despite almost continual distractions from elsewhere in the space (the shouting of comperes in other performances, the clatter of bar staff). Her boundless energy carries us through, now enticing us, now castigating us, now baffling us.
Despite being placed in a space that offers no quarter for a work of such delicacy (or perhaps because of it), the audience stays on-side throughout the hour-long performance. Intravenous manages to create an atmosphere in which we are given permission to explore with her (Vibes). She opens wide the doors to feminist thought, inviting us all inside and casting no blame, but always looking forward. When the imagery turns scarlet, we are not shamed for wanting to watch. Despite uncovering the male gaze with her work, Vibes looks on magnanimously: this is a performance, encouraging us (male and female alike) to enter into the dialogue.
This is an arresting work of performance that is definitely worth taking a look at. We feel ourselves shifting our perspectives as the slow-drip performance continues to process, sparking debate and discussion outside the theatre afterwards. An unusual experience on the Fringe, this is not spoken-word in the “slam poetry” sense of the phrase, but lilting, lovely, acerbic, mighty towers of words that are offered to us as gifts from a genuine and earnest performer who, by her own admission, is just dipping her toes in the waters of performance. Her own misgivings to the contrary, we think Isadora Vibes is a natural.
Photo: Claudio Ahlers
Intravenous is on at the Dram House Upstairs until 24th August 2013 as part of the PBH Free Festival, for further information or to book visit here. For further information about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival visit here.