Gemma Hirst

Daniel Bye: How Not to go VIRAL

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Imagine you had missed your science lesson in biology and you find yourself in a fast-paced workshop educating you in all things cells.

Previewing his Edinburgh Fringe Production, Going Viral (July 15) Daniel Bye educates the public in a lesson of how things spread.

Based on previous research and topical issues on dangerous viruses, Bye opened our eyes into how viruses spread, where they come from and how we react to viral infections.

Performed in stage 3 of Northern Stage, Newcastle, yesterday night, it was quite an intimate space.

Sitting close next to other audience members, it made me feel more aware of myself and the viruses that may be growing around me.

As the space was in the round, it allowed Bye to move around the stage and sit with the audience – this made the play more at ease and felt more comfortable.

Picture: Northern Stage.

Picture: Northern Stage.

Feeling very much like an interesting lecture, rather than a performance, Bye made the performance feel very clinical, talking about different types of viruses and medications and alienating the audience with different scientific terms about cells and how they form.

It seemed that he made the public rethink their health choices and ask themselves the question of whether their health is really OK…

Fearful that a lot of what Bye was telling about the science behind the virus would go over people’s heads, Going Viral was quite accessible in that he used everyday items, such as licorice – all sorts – to show a cell, or virus.

The performance was interactive which allowed Bye to understand if his audience were understanding what he was talking about.

Though there were moments in the piece where I thought the performance was becoming monotonous, it was the use of transitions that became somewhat boring.

Each scene that he moved onto was continued with an intense ringing sound.

Perhaps, it may have been more interesting if the transition were varied in sounds, as once it was done more than once, it was clear that the very same sound would follow.

Though this could be argued as the repetitive transition was a constant reminder that viruses are always around and this should not be forgotten.

The show can widen knowledge about viruses, as I found myself consonantly washing my hands with hand gel after the show, in fear that I was going to spread a virus and become VIRAL.

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