Home / Drama / PULSE FESTIVAL: A Journey Round My Skull – New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

PULSE FESTIVAL: A Journey Round My Skull – New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Writer: Nick Walker and Olivia Winteringham

Director: Graeme Rose

Reviewer: Glen Pearce

 

We often talk about theatre getting inside our head. Kiln’s A Journey Round My Skull takes that one step further, firstly giving us a guided tour of how the brain works and then taking us on an immersive journey inside our skull.

We are in a psychiatrist’s office where a surgeon explains to us the nature of our illness. We hear of the problems we’ve been facing with memory loss and audio hallucinations. She though has a solution. She is going to remove the tumour in our brain that is causing the problem.

As the monologue unfolds, however, we find that this doctor/patient relationship is more complex. As she guides us back through our forgotten memories it becomes clear she is in love with her patient, a patient that often can’t remember who they are. She faces the dilemma of saving her love one’s life by operating but in the process risks losing the very essence she loves.

It’s a poetic and intricately woven tale, based in part on a true Hungarian story from the early 20th Century. Co-writer and performer Olivia Winteringham is compelling as the surgeon, delivering her fact-heavy dialogue with real compassion. There’s a sense of authority but also a tenderness and reassurance.

The journey inside our own head though begins in earnest when we are asked to don headphones in preparation for our surgery. We’re explained to that it will be a local anaesthetic to be able to monitor brain function and as classical music plays we begin to hear the sounds of surgery. Those with a medical phobia may find the soundtrack uncomfortable but the soundscape we hear as ‘our’ skull is opened up to remove the surgery is overwhelming. Mixed in with Winteringham’s live voice, it is an effective way to draw us further into the story.

Ultimately we are left wondering who the patient is and who the patient in need of help is. It’s a complex and wordy piece that needs attention but a piece that will remain in your head long after you’ve left the theatre.

Photo:Jonathan Blackford

Writer: Nick Walker and Olivia Winteringham Director: Graeme Rose Reviewer: Glen Pearce   We often talk about theatre getting inside our head. Kiln’s A Journey Round My Skull takes that one step further, firstly giving us a guided tour of how the brain works and then taking us on an immersive journey inside our skull. We are in a psychiatrist's office where a surgeon explains to us the nature of our illness. We hear of the problems we’ve been facing with memory loss and audio hallucinations. She though has a solution. She is going to remove the tumour in our…

Review Overview

The Public Reviews

Intense

About The Reviews Hub - South East

The Reviews Hub - South East
The South East team is under the editorship of Nicole Craft. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.