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Translunar Paradise (Tour - Salford)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Fresh from a sell-out preview at this year's Edinburgh Fringe, Theatre Ad Infinitum's Translunar Paradise embraces the accessible concepts of life, love and death in a unique and transfixing manner.

Using masks, music, mime and movement, performers George Mann and Deborah Pugh, and vocalist/accordion player Kim Heron are able to tell a touching romance, without any need for words.

When I read about the production's inclusion of masks, I entered the Lowry's Studio with some degree of trepidation. But my personal stigma was put entirely to the back of my mind, as the artistic device was used not just as a source of innovation, but rather for enhancement of performance – beautifully marking the quick transgression of time, from youth to old age.

Mann and Pugh's physicality is particularly endearing, the performers gliding from past memories and present realities with precision and believability.

To get the final star, the company could experiment with Heron's musical presence on the stage – although necessary and hypnotising, it can occasionally distract when she interjects too far into the performer's central space.

Open to interpretation, this unique piece of theatre will capture the imagination of both the romantic and the artistic -its many layers ultimately leading to the same conventional, yet never tiring, conclusion about the power and longevity of love, until 'death does us part.'

- Rebecca Cohen


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