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Theatre REVIEW: Family Portrait - ★★★★

Updated: May 17, 2022

Family Portrait is a four screen video installation work, combining striking imagery and choreography, capturing Barrowland Ballet’s Artistic Director Natasha Gilmore and her three children in an intimate portrayal of family life.

With space to roam, her children encounter rabbit skulls, converse with spiders, make war paint with berries and discover the fun of burying their mother in bark. With humour and candour, the work shares an honest depiction of what family really is - responsibility, joy, balance, intimacy and, most of all, love.

Filmed in the splendour of Scotland’s natural environment.



Imaginate Festival, Edinburgh - run ended



Archie (Age 9) - ★★★★

"It was interesting and emotional. My favourite part was the mum in the bath. I liked that the play was set in the woods and not modern houses."

Mylo (Age 14) - ★★★★

"This was an interesting production that really got you thinking. It conveyed the idea of family through video and sound, immersing you in the experience. It stimulated your senses and was really interesting, fun and entertaining."

Hollye (Age 12) - ★★★★

"This was a really interesting show. I wasn't expecting it to be on a screen but I think it worked really well . The sound was really immersive and you forgot you were sitting in a room. You were constantly hearing something new or seeing something new."

Kim - ★★★★

"Beautifully filmed and edited to play across four screens (audience are seated on swivelling stools) Family Portrait is a rewarding showcase of one mum and her three children’s adventures in the outdoors. Their personalities shine through, whether messing around with berries and sticks as art or jumping across puddles, singing their own songs, facing their fears and getting philosophical- pondering bird marriage and the circle of life. "

Stewart - ★★★★★

"This is such a lovely piece of work by Gilmore and her three children. Very intimate, very sweet, often very funny and just gorgeous to be immersed into. I love how each child's personality is given a platform, in particular the scene where the older boy talks about how he is scared of more things than his younger siblings and lists his fear whilst on another screen he lies cuddling his Mum. The scene where the Mum dances frantically in the bath whilst the children play around her is quite a profound moment and the crawling over Mum and carrying of her children all holds such resonance. A really lovely piece that shows the fun and weight of being a family. I think what would have been a nice extra element for the festival would have been a somewhat hands-on activity that the audience could have done after the piece. Still wonderful stuff and very memorable."

We took along our students to see Family Portrait at Imaginate at the Traverse Theatre on Saturday 14th May 2022.


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