The idea behind Hinterland at Forest Fringe is an interactive experience. Armed with instructions and questions, you go out on the streets of Edinburgh and ask total strangers questions. Their answers are then developed into poetry, that will be read back to you. In fact, it is all very high tech and you get prodded by text message if you have not responded, and encouraged to return by text message as well.
Think of it as poetry meets call centre logistics. The entire city could be your theatre and you become one of the actors, and then you have to dial a number and talk to an automated voice to complete it.
In my variant of the game I had to find a random French speaking person and ask them questions.
After trying to cram as much theatre as I could in Edinburgh, I felt like this was homework. So I slightly amended this quest after discovering that a fellow reviewer spoke French. Together over a cup of tea we worked up answers that seemed unlikely inspiration for poetic verse.
The end result was quite fascinating. I particularly liked the bit about the two of us walking down the streets of Paris being bitchy. I did not expect it to be so incisive. There were three more levels to complete, but as there was so much more theatre to catch I was happy to just dip my toe into the Forrest Fringe. At least for this year.
- Paul Ewing