This engrossing piece devised by Filter in association with the Royal
Shakespeare Company’s Associate Director David Farr is, ironically, all
about noise – the soundtracks to our everyday lives which we barely notice,
the music that conjures memories – as well as love across continents and
For 37 year old Kate (excellent Katy Stephens) noise is also a way to block
out the tinnitus which has plagued her since childhood. Now married to
documentary maker Michael and living in Battersea, her world shifts with the
unexpected arrival of a tape which revives memories of an encounter in a
Berlin club in 1991 and the intense relationship which developed between her
and dissident Alexei before his enforced National Service pulled them apart.
Interweaving present day events in London (as Michael investigates secret
surveillance by the Met back in the 90’s) and Russia (where Kate goes in
search of Alexei) with scenes from the past, Filter conjures an atmospheric
soundscape, the technology on full display on an almost bare stage.
vertical fluorescent light is all that separates a Lewisham cafe from a
Moscow restaurant (the same waitress, with a shift in demeanour, serves
tables on both sides of the divide).
Michael’s sound engineer (Jonjo
O’Neill) records the activity of his lonely neighbour through the walls as
she makes toast, but never summons the courage to talk to her.
It all combines to form a clever, complex and absorbing web of glimpsed
moments, impulsive choices and unfinished business which intrigues from
start to finish but offers no easy answers.
Hampstead, Eton Avenue, NW3 3EU
020 7722 9301
Tube: Swiss Cottage
Until May 28
– Louise Kingsley