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Theatre review

Wonder

Wonder

Bongo Club, Edinburgh

Neil Cooper

When one of the carpet-load of balloons that line the club space where the young Creative Electric company's latest show is being performed accidentally pops, it's as if the bang is calling time on a particular moment in the four performers' lives before they move on to the next one. In each corner of what looks like a subterranean playroom, each of the cast - two male, two female, germ-free adolescents all - stand before a full-length mirror, recounting what they see in soliloquies of self-image that reveal more than their masked personae intend.

Over the course of the next 40 minutes or so, those masks are put to one side as each opens up to reveal what it's like to live in a world where image is everything, and social media status creates a kind of playground pecking order. The candour with which the quartet lay bare their growing pains go beyond confessional in Hannah Marshall's touchy-feely immersive production to become a choreographed ritual of collective purging before each goes on to the next thing.

With sound designer Joshua Payne's twinkly ambient soundscape underscoring a whirlwind of text, movement and physical and emotional tics, performers Hannah Gipp, Mark Hannah, Christie Russell-Brown and Will Stringer give their all as they explore their identities that eventually find a release. As they end leaving themselves willingly vulnerable before reaching out to each other for a group hug, they are in the throes of discovering who they are, who they want to be and, perhaps more importantly, who they might eventually grow into.

Audiences can find out for themselves when Wonder visits North Berwick tomorrow and Glasgow on Friday.

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Arts and Entertainment

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