Review by Siofra Ni Shluaghadháin
Viva Voce, the living voice, is usually used as a term to describe the spoken defense of a thesis in a university setting. In this performance, the idea of the Viva is taken, and shattered before the audience in what is, and what becomes, and what might be, a ground breaking performance.
Viva Voce examines the idea of “madness” through the lense of mental malady, for it is only through being unwell that we know what health feels like. It is surprising, again and again, for when the audience settles into the flow of things, it will suddenly shift gear. Part lecture, part physical theatre, part meta theatre, and part audio performance, Viva Voce takes what we think to be true about theatre, about health and about the human mind, and turns it on its head. Lauren-Shannon Jones delivers a convincing and emotionally engaging performance. Walking the line between reality and fantasy, between the real of the tangible and the real of the mind,
Viva Voce is at times painful, but ultimately rewarding for the viewer. In the true spirit of the Fringe, it leaves more questions in its wake than answers, but in the wake of the confusion and the reordering, the audience may find solace in these unknowns.