Reviews

Papers

Edinburgh Festivals Magazine ( ★ ★ ★ ★ ★): “Giles’ urgent writing probes uncomfortable complicities, making cabaret of the covert slippages between work and violence, terror and terror, agency and The Agency. Drone may be thematically complex, poetic, political, but it’s also electric theatre” http://www.edfestmag.com/theatre/drone-summerhall-five-stars/

The Nation: “A shattering cabaret of poetry, music, and video, narrated from the perspective of a military drone wracked with social anxiety and loneliness, sickened by the tedium of the workplace, and impervious to the faddish therapies on offer from bourgeois life. There’s a dark humor in Giles’s elaborate act of empathy for a military drone, and the writing is frequently very funny. But it’s also devastatingly sad.” https://www.thenation.com/article/trans-fringe-edinburgh-scotland-england/

The Independent (★ ★ ★ ★ ) : ” A deeply experimental – and often sinister and darkly humorous – piece, but one which works perfectly as an expression of the way our humanity and identities are fusing with the machine in an interconnected world.” https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/edinburgh-fringe-festival-2019-this-script-drone-a9062676.html

The Stage (★ ★ ★ ★ ) : ” As the piece works itself up into a panic attack of distorted sound, pixelated video and furious words, it becomes like fully sensory poetry. Sound and video are counterpoint rather than complement, but the whole bewildering experience is strangely revelatory.” https://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/2019/drone-review-at-summerhall-edinburgh-powerful-and-strangely-revelatory/

The List: Top Ten Performance Art at the Edinburgh Fringe: “Giles refuses obvious traditions and for a lively, sometimes personal, sometimes political, and frequently provocative fusion of media.” https://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/109111-top-10-performance-art-shows-coming-to-the-fringe-in-2019/

The Skinny (★ ★ ★ ★ ): ” Giles’ performance is exuberant, attractive and addictive to watch. Drone is a beautiful relic of the tragedy of human warfare, a fractured retelling of female experience that serves to remind us that perhaps the biggest and longest war is the one occurring from within, always.” https://www.theskinny.co.uk/…/re…/drone-tron-theatre-glasgow

The Scotsman (★ ★ ★ ★): “In Drone, the sadness, the unfreedom, and the glimpses of a possible different wayt of being are universal, and exquisitely evoked through the tumbling cloudscapes and vistas in Jamie Wardrop’s stunning circular backdrop of moving visual images.”

The Herald (★ ★ ★ ★) : “A quasi-kitchen-sink fantasia […] cut up from the pages of a hippy sci-fi zine and given the flesh and blood gravitas of a fable.” https://www.heraldscotland.com/arts_ents/17685563.theatre-review-drone-traverse-edinburgh-four-stars/

Three Weeks (★ ★ ★ ★): ” The drone’s relentless whine gives way to lo-fi electronica; impressionistic digital mountains morph into real terrain. A real drone hovers above the stage, demanding our attention. This textured, layered experience grips hold of your anxieties and doesn’t let go.” http://threeweeksedinburgh.com/article/drone-harry-josephine-giles-rob-jones-neil-simpson-and-jamie-wardrop/

SITES

The Wee Review ( ★ ★ ★ ★): “Throughout the performance sound artist Neil Simpson develops a constant humming and whirring sounsdscape tha increases the anxiety of the piece. These electronic and buzzing sounds work in tandem with the vocals and visuals. Contorted and malformed video footage of landscapes and cityscapes set the scene and allow us to view the surveillance culture we are part of.” https://theweereview.com/review/drone/

Exeunt: “The scope of Giles’ poetry is vast, shifting between targets, strafing across twenty or so poems that detail the life of one drone, known as She. She is someone we learn about in fragments, piecing together an image of herselves and ourselves from the noise. She, the drone, becomes a stand-in for us.” https://exeuntmagazine.com/revie…/review-drone-tron-glasgow/

Young Perspective ( ★ ★ ★ ★) : “A conceptual, thought-provoking and unique piece of art. It is an amalgamation of significant performance chops, canny and poetic spoken word, trippy projections, and especially impressive sound design which buzzes throughout the entire hour of performance. ” http://young-perspective.net/drone-traverse-theatre/

Reviews Hub: ( ★ ★ ★ ★): “A production entirely of its own craft, unlike any other. An examination of the neurotic age of technologies influence on the complacency of anxiety and surveillance.” https://www.thereviewshub.com/drone-the-traverse-theatre-edinburgh/

Bouquets and Brickbats ( ★ ★ ★ ★): “Giles’ assured, controlled performance is compelling, unleashing a torrent of visual metaphors that build to a maelstrom. This, the narrative seems to say, is symptomatic of the age in which we are live, a bleak, compassionless society, hurtling headlong to oblivion. ” https://bouquetsbrickbatsreviews.com/2019/06/05/drone/

The Glasgow Empire: ” There are laughs – proper ones – and moments of levity. Also – and despite all I’ve said here about the text avoiding an obvious narrative progression – there is a real emotional pay-off as the show builds, plateaus, builds, plateaus and builds again towards a rewarding final, sequence with a genuinely heartwarming conclusion.” https://theglasgowempire.scot/2019/04/22/this-haunted-cabaret-drone-by-harry-josephine-giles/

The Fountain ” Harry Josephine Giles delivers each line with the gravitas and articulacy of a born performer: even watching Giles do something as simple as drink a glass of water is utterly arresting. There is bravado in their delivery, and humour, and above all vulnerability, that draws the viewer in, inviting you to listen and watch with as much of yourself as they give of themself. ” https://thefountain.eu/reviews/2019/08/review-drone-fringe-2019/

Gina Maya Reviews: ” Bizarre and brilliant, Drone left me with the sensation of crawling from out of the brain of a machine. Seldom have I been as happy to see the grass and the trees of the park outside, though this is one of the quirks of the production, both utterly dehumanized and one that leaves you feeling strangely more human than ever afterwards. ” https://www.ginamaya.co.uk/theatre/drone-by-harry-josephine-giles.html

Social

“A clever, beautiful, strange world!” – Jenni Fagan

” I find myself caring about this being, this drone that utters wonderful words. A strangely beautiful experience. ” – Elizabeth McGeown

“Heartbreaking, frightening, funny, emotional.” – Melanie Jordan

“Drone’s on stage organ surgery broke my heart, even as I smiled in pleasure. @HarryJosieGiles uses their words and silver-skinned body like a remotely-operated scalpel to peel back the inner workings of a Drone’s soul.” – Laura Watts

“Thought provoking, funny, fine electronics and visuals, and a mesmerising performance” – Jay Whittaker

” Completely mesmerising + strangely tender” – Gabriella Bennett

” Funny, thought-provoking and written with exquisite precision” – Viccy

“Just incredible…mesmerising, heartbreaking, playful, beautifully crafted. I cried through about 2/3 of it. SEE THIS” – AR Crow

“I can’t remember when I last saw a show that was so powerfully political, so wildly out there, and yet so consistently and generously entertaining” – Henry Bell

“Oscillating between the comfort of frank recognition and the dread of seeing yourself in the crosshairs, it really nails that feeling of never knowing whether or not you’re in control (and that’s… okay?) Warbly buzzy unsettling goodness ” – Ryan Vance

“I laughed, was mesmerised, and left full of thoughts about the complexities of our relations to one another in these times. ” – Katie

“Funny, disconcerting and personal-political.” – Ishbel MacFarlane

“Extraordinary” – Sean Biggerstaff

“Brilliant intense show” – Bella Caledonia

“So political and human, and such craft.” – Clara Mascaró

“Still buzzing across my mind’s terrain in dazzling wit & wild subversive imagination.” – Jo Clifford

“A one of a kind experience” – Toni Velikova

” Hadn’t seen it’s like before and betcha I won’t again.” – Nicole Brandon

“A mesmerizing and poetic, multimedia delve through the isolation, anxiety and violence of living in modernity, from a military drone embodied with captivating glamour. STUNNING.” – Dan Fishman

“A remarkable piece of theatre and poetry about technology, violence and terrors big and small.” – Elliott Ross

“A live poetry show that’s a midpoint between Imogen Binnie’s Nevada, the Terminator franchise and @infinite_scream” – Ryan Vance

“Such a beautifully made and presented piece of work. I feel transient warm and fuzzy! Thank you for making it and sharing it – must see!” – Melanie Purdie

“Gorgeous poetics, projections and live-mixed music – hits you where it hurts when it comes to capitalism, military violence and the sheer bore of it all.” – Wobbly Bee

“A hazy droney dream with crystal clear words from Harry Josephine. Made me laugh repeatedly and cry without knowing why.” – Greg Sinclair

“This drone is in my head, this drone is in my heart… quicksilvered, quick tongued, quick witted, glistening in words, movements, wonderings. This craft and care still buzzing about me/in me/today.” – Luke Pell

“Wow, that’s some poetry and some performance @HarryJosieGiles! The filmic opening was epic and spooky and then you just kept cranking it up! Live soundtrack fab too! Go see Drone.” – Jeremy Dixon

“Gorgeous and clever and of course the words are perfect and it’s all delivered with love & wit.” – Lily Einhorn

“Rich, raw and tender. The drone is a high tech killing machine and a low status office worker, navigating the anxious pathways of desire in the face of her programming, her line manager, and the world that enacts violence on and through her. The constant hum and buzz of the soundtrack breaks into catches of melody and harmony, as from the low profile terror of mundane life and the casual alienated violence of geopolitical conflict, Giles words speak also of a hope that we might break beyond it. There’s rigour and beauty in the thought behind it and in the performance of it. It’s still resonating in me.” – Alex Swift

“a wild and eccentric joy of a show” – Edalia Day

“Live VJ, live music, compelling spoken word. My brain’s mulling drones a weapons, drone workers/women, drones as producer/consumers. Lols & discomforting truths.” – Madeleine Moore

“A sexy, gnarly, lyrical journey into alienation, isolation, and the violence of jargon, with stellar support from a glitchy sound- and video-scape. I doubt anything at the Fringe touches on so many fears. Ace.” – Thomas Martin