Chase Scenes by Ming Hon – King’s Hall, Edinburgh
Three women spend an hour recreating, with barely a pause, sixty separate movie chase scenarios. They dash from one set-up to the next, scattering costumes and scenery, while filming each other on mobile phones, the footage projected on screens behind. Each scene is announced with a title – such as ‘Axe’ or ‘Nightmare’ – but removed from its context. The production literally cuts to the chase again and again, focusing on the physical process not only of being chased – in terror, determination, play, or transgression – but also on the process of filming each scene.
While the ambience is home-made and, on the surface, amateurish, it soon become clear that the show is a miracle of timing and coordination. Intensely choreographed, Chase Scenes is more than just a piece of fun. The low budget aesthetic is often very funny, from toy police car chases to the strategic use of plastic fronds to simulate a jungle. The centrepiece of the show is ‘Parkour’, a very silly attempt at simulating parkour that spills off stage onto the balcony and then out into the foyer.
The inherent misogyny of cinema is also played out for the audience, as the nature of a chase is inevitably examined. A substantial proportion of the scenes involve a woman being chased, with violent intent. Devised by Ming Ho and performed by her with Hilary Crist and Alexandra Elliott, Chase Scenes is conceptually brilliant and ingeniously performed. It succeeds simultaneously as entertainment and critique, like a piece of installation art.