Review by Kate Gaul
“Am I Alone? John K” presented by American In Tent at We Are Vocal, is part of the on demand offerings of Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year. Seriously, check out the presenting partners for insight into this very strange event!
Written, directed, composed, and performed by Stephanie Vlahos, it focuses on one man: John K Mercury. He is described as an “accident astronaut”, a “beautiful spirit on an epic journey”. John K wants to leave earth and voyage to Mars.
Rather than a recorded stage production this is a piece of digital theatre. Images, soundscape and narration are all constructed for the camera. Maybe it is a kind of performance art. It is definitely part Sci-fi genre. It is seriously weird. The text is performed to camera by Stephani Vlahos. Intoned, worthy, measured, mature. I am guessing the intention was to sound poetic. At just 38 minutes, this sometimes-comic event seduces, warps and baffles us.
In space we face both our pasts and our futures, what we have been and where we might be going. Stephanie Vlahos becomes John K who hitches a ride on a mission to Mars – a place of potential aliens. She is inside his thoughts as he traverses the outer space - 'I am a motorcyclist in a hailstorm recklessly speeding by the grace of a slipstream.'
“The American in Tent is a collective of American artists expressing their take on the American narrative more personally while mitigating the carbon footprint of global festivals. We honor diversity and positive inclusion while freely exploring everything that ails us. We welcome cultural exchange and seek to be part of a greater global awareness. Even in the darkest of times, the artist’s voice must be heard.” Stephanie Vlahos
I can’t argue with that, and the body of work of the artists involved in “Am I Alone? John K” is impressive. See it for yourself. It might blow your mind!