Reviews OWE & FringeReviews Published 20 May 2016

Review: Reaessmbeld, Silgthly Asekw at BAC

Battersea Arts Centre ⋄ 11th - 28th May 2016

An infected review of Shannon Yee’s binaural show, charting her recovery from a rare brain infection.

Tim Bano


This is nice. Gentle. For a show about brain infections it’s very gentle. The sheets are clean and there’s only four of us and it semlls
smells nice. And the nurses actors nurses are softly spoken and kind. Maybe this could be a Victorian hospital. And the nurses actors tell us to take our shoes off, make ouresvles
ourselves comfortable. But I don’t pull the blanket right over me – this isn’t my bedroom is it – I just put it over my feet, which is fine and it’s warm. I know what’s going to happen because the actors nurses have already told us when we checked in. We’re going to be lying here and listening, but it’s safe because they’ll be making sure we’re ok. So it’s like being I’ll ill with all the nice bits like being looked after but wihtout
without all the horrible bits like actually feeling ill. Just quiet, peaceful. Listening to quiet peaceful sounds of Shannon’s voice. Going about her busyness.
business. But actually no it’s not. It’s tense, really really tense. Something awful is going to happen isn’t it? Or it’s already happening. I’m not I’ll ill but she is was. Is. Has
Has had a brain infection for no real reason apart from shittiness and ffffffffate. So why does it feel so relaxing. Well. Well. Well. Well. Well. Well because I’m lying in a hospital bed in a dark, quiet room. I have a blindfold and headphones on. And it’s the evening. And I’m tired. So it feesl
feels like it feels
feels before I go to sleep. But it shouldn’t because she’s describing how the doctors have put a piece of her skull in her abdomen for safekeeping. What?? That doesn’t smell look sound right. Is that really how modern medicine works? You just stick someone’s skull in their tummy for a bit. Keep it warm and juicy while the brain swelling goes down. Then slap it back on. I don’t know. Shannon barely knows because people in comas are aware of everything aren’t aware of everything that’s going onononononon. And if you have a brain infection then your brain makes things weird like colours and noises. I get to hear how some of those sounds sound. They sound strange. They surround my headphoned head. Kind of getting weird
weird and noisy too. Sometimes like being underwater and sometimes like being on the edge of some other dimenshannon dimension. But mostly Shannon is speaking so softly into my ears that I can hear the clicks and slops of her mouth. I hear her epxerience
experience the shattering pain of it all and the unrelenting stabs of needles and scalpels, all these invasions by armed doctors. I’ve never been in a hospital bed. That’s very frightening. So many people with needles squeezing liquid into their arms right now. Now. Now. Now. Now so many people in pain and surrounded by flimsy curtains. But this story – hers – becomes mine because she puts it into my head so directly. She rebuilds herself from nothing and then shares the fall and rise with me alone.


Tim Bano

Tim is a freelance arts writer and theatre critic. He writes regularly for Time Out, The Stage and other publications. He is co-creator of Pursued By A Bear, Exeunt Magazine's theatre podcast.

Review: Reaessmbeld, Silgthly Asekw at BAC Show Info

Directed by Anna Newell

Written by Shannon Yee



Enter your email address below to get an occasional email with Exeunt updates and featured articles.