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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Theatre review: Reverberations is a mixtape of memories

Moments of synesthesia are this promenade plays forte

During one of the interludes between the vignettes which make-up Reverberations, creator Brian Linds asked our group if we had ever received a mixtape. It is the perfect analogy for this reflective piece, combining family memories and an often astounding sound design, currently playing at North Vancouver’s Presentation House Theatre.

A promenade play of sorts, audiences are divided into four groups of about 15 people each, and given a token to wear: white ribbon, mirror necklace, Lego bracelet, and a 45 rpm adapter. At first seeming oddly random, the meaning behind these small tokens soon come into focus.

Now sorted, the groups are separated and ushered into one of four performances spaces scattered throughout the building. Rotating through each space, the entire audience eventually reunites inside the main theatre.

Given the nature of Reverberations, the order in which audiences experience it will vary. On opening night, ours was a non-linear view into both large and small moments of Lind’s life, and that of his family.

Part of the joy in watching Reverberations comes from not knowing what to expect as you traverse the hallways of Presentation House to the next mini-performance. Suffice to say during this 90-minute intermission-less show, the short vignettes run the gamut of the seemingly inconsequential to the deeply personal.

One of the connecting threads between them comes from Linds’ sound design. An actor and sound designer, while Linds has an obvious affection for the subject matter, it is in his evident love for sound which elevates Reverberations from other similar shows, usually seen on the Fringe Festival circuit.

Whether watching a live performance, or from headphones worn during one segment, the depth of sound Linds has been able to create is absolutely astounding. No doubt using every trick in his sound designer library, narration is combined with sound effects, recreations, and music in a lavish auditory experience. But while Linds’ lush soundscapes are fully engaging, they remain the star of the performances featuring the talents of Nicola Lipman, Victor Mariano, Jan Wood, and Linds himself.

As with any mixtape, not every vignette resonates at the same level. Similar to the 8-track, which Linds explains in the final segment, there is no way in which to easily return to a favourite. Like life, one supposes, filled with small moments of joy, and seemingly bigger moments of despair, all brought together by a synesthesia of memories.

Reverberations by Brian Linds. Directed by Mindy Parfitt. A Presentation House Theatre and Reverberations Collective production in association with Mortal Coil Performance. On stage at Presentation House Theatre (333 Chesterfield Ave, North Vancouver) until March 17. Visit for tickets and information.

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