Review: Signals by Footprint Theatre

A two-hander exploring loneliness and monotony in a tiny room

★★★★
theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Signals by Footprint Theatre
Published 17 Aug 2018

Sitting in a tiny room of an office, working the night shift, are two women. They're radio astronomers and their job is to calculate and source signals in space, with an ultimate goal of looking for other life.

It sounds exciting, but here we see the monotony of doing the same thing, over and over, with seemingly no breakthroughs. The pair drink tea, eat biscuits, play guessing games, eat more biscuits, discuss what could be out there, have a mouse scare, and eat even more biscuits.

The conversations flit between the mundane and the out-of-this-world. Taking place in a tiny room of an extraordinary building excludes us from higher conversations and excitement so the pair have to make do with each other. The chemistry between Eve Cowley and Immie Davies never feels forced. The relationship feels familiar, easy to watch. It's comforting knowing that others are out there, working monotonously just as you do – even in such a significant field.

There's a breakthrough – or is there? Palpable excitement, nervousness, anxiety over findings – what do you do when the thing you've worked for and wanted for so long is finally a possibility? 

Conversations are repeated, or perhaps they're flashbacks? Stuck in a tiny space for so long you forget what's happened before.

The show quietly travels to its end, and finishes before you know it.