Edinburgh Fringe music performances are often simple affairs: a singer, possibly some instrumentalists and simple lighting. ‘Wrenne: I Said Yes To Everything’ blows away this expectation with a multimedia show that is as much a visual journey as an aural one. The Utah-raised singer presents an hour-long musical journey with themes of anguish, discovery and self-realization. It is a powerful experience, masterfully weaving song, video and acrobatics together into a performance that feels tight and articulate.
Many of Wrenne’s songs stand out. Come Alive featuring backing vocals from Idris Elba was a particular surprise, and provides a pitch contrast that undeniably works extremely well. From anthemic songs like Puzzle Place, to a wonderfully understated cover of The Whole of The Moon Wrenne skillfully showcases the range of musical styles she is proficient in. Wrenne’s style is similar to – but grittier than – Björk‘s, exemplifying the emotional power behind her songs.
The use of video projection adds extra depth to the performance. From warehouses to fields to council estates, the hauntingly shot recordings give Wrenne’s show a true feeling of a character on a journey. It is an enrapturing addition, pulling you into the character’s tale without them ever uttering a word. It is especially well used for the moment of self-realization in the latter half of the performance, where onstage and onscreen interact for the first time. If there is one criticism, it is that occasionally there is too much happening simultaneously. Paying full attention to both the video and performance onstage is not always possible. I sometimes had the lingering feeling that concentrating too much on one would mean missing out on important developments in the other.
The set design is smart and considered. Featuring scaffold poles and a large trampoline, there are ample tools available for Wrenne to show off her acrobatic talents. Remarkable talents indeed given the wide extent of gymnastic choreography incorporated into her songs.
‘Wrenne: I Said Yes To Everything’ is as much theatre as music. It is music that tells a story, takes the audience on a journey with its character and will leave you in awe.
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