Memories of a Lullaby

CCA, Glasgow

Mary Brennan


YOU could change the name of the country and the person whose story this is but, during the current Refugee Festival Scotland, the themes in Saras Feijoo’s solo performance will surely surface again and again. Images will witness to homelands where people face food shortages, lack of medical supplies, government corruption and violence on all fronts – “the so-called heroes kill as many as the so-called villains” Feijoo says at one point, but in truth there don’t seem to be many heroes.

Feijoo left her native Venezuela some eleven years ago, her heart set on becoming a clown. Her instincts were sound: a theatre career in Caracas would have been unlikely and she, herself, wonders if she would still be alive. A rare visit home, five years ago, had her in a clench of watchful terror that didn’t relent until she was airborne, flying back to Scotland. Her words say these things, but it’s her body that really tells us of these experiences. She has a chameleon physicality that can shape-shift from the buoyant, smiley energy of a young girl, dancing and singing with her friends, to the haunted, hunkering fear of some-one trying to be invisible, even in her own home. A sudden glower will darken her face, alter its very features, when she intones the list of “don’ts” issued by cops who serve to help themselves, not local people. If she is a living canvas, portraying many characters, she is also a visual artist who sweeps a landscape onto blank paper, the rapid crayons underlining her “need to remember and the wish to forget.” That she still has hope for her homeland is perhaps the most touching, harrowing, aspect of this show.