Edinburgh Fringe digital review: Your Body Is A Wasteland

As this is an evolving immersive online show where text, images, or audio are added each day, this review refers to the piece as it stands on 19 Aug.

Emma Maguire’s Your Body is a Wasteland tackles chronic illness through three characters: the elusive Wanderer (Maguire), Tom (Hamish Boyle) and Nina (Bethany Miller).

There are letters between Tom and Nina, a hospital chart where the Wanderer’s ailments and allergies are noted yet treated with suspicion, and images which allude to invisible disability and hidden illness through redacted words and images, even short videos.

As a consumer of this show, you can take either the Short Read, which presents pieces in the order they are released, or the Long Road where you follow linked prompts to find the next piece.

More curated than immersive, Your Body is a Wasteland has no linear structure through either path and instead embraces a sense of confusion, which fits in with the message Maguire is sharing about chronic pain and illness.

Ptomotional image for Your Body is a Wasteland

There is no one path as everyone’s body is different. The piece tackles resilience, disbelief, self-preservation and leaves many questions open and unanswered.

Who is the Wanderer and why does Tom seek her? What do the images mean and how should they be consumed? And why are these people survivors in a world teetering on the edge of destruction?

Who is the Seer and what is the Wasteland? Maguire’s piece deals with the realities of chronic pain and illness (self-loathing, strength, and irritation when the body fails to do what it is supposed to, the lack of empathy from others for hidden disabilities).

If you decide on the Long Road option, it isn’t the accessible one (no audio or image descriptions), but it does allow a sense of exploration to a point – there is usually only one place to click to progress to the next puzzle.

An interesting way of looking at a very personal, yet common topic, Your Body is a Wasteland continues to update daily throughout the Edinburgh Fringe with tickets here.


What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.