EdFringe 2022 Review: Fata Morgana

“Remotti delivers a compelling turn…”

Italian performer Margherita Remotti conceives and performs Fata Morgana, a one-woman show delving into the life of German singer, model and muse, Nico. Co-writing with Jon Kellam, Remotti delivers a compelling turn, capturing the counter-culture icon and high priestess of gothic rock.

Nico shares her journey in post-war Germany to becoming a sought after supermodel in London and muse to Andy Warhol in New York. Exploring her relationship with her son, her romance with Jim Morrison, and naturalistic final moments, Fata Morgana captures the richly poetic mind of Nico.

Remotti is a powerful stage presence, entering the EICC venue and promptly walking up the microphone and throwing her dark sunglasses off. The venue is set up with conference tables, slightly too large to give the show a cabaret ambience, instead feeling slightly more business-like. The performer opens with a song, capturing Nico’s distinctive icy vocal presence complete the strong enigmatic sound that the singer brought to 1967’s The Velvet Underground and Nico and the same year’s solo opus Chelsea Girl. What follows is a fragmented account of key moments from Nico’s life, the events and memories that made up the life of the counter-cultural performance artist.

Delving into Nico’s brutal accounts of an alleged rape as a teenager by a soldier, recounted with a brutal stoic ferocity, we see a further emotive side to the complex performer as she explores her worries about her son. We gain a sense of underlying fragility, one often masked by her steely German exterior, something that also shines through in her interactions with Warhol and Morrison – both feeling like they would benefit from some added exploration. Fata Morgana’s more scattered collection of musings and memories also means that much of Nico’s discography is not explored, with Remotti seeking to explore the performer’s psyche more than her creative output.

The use of multimedia visuals in the background capture magnified face of Warhol and Morrison, a poignant scene of moonlight, a rising sun, and scenes of nature. Pairing these visuals with Remotti’s poetic musings results in some rather profound moments – such as those capturing Nico’s final minutes. Remotti carries herself with an intensity, delivering unflinching stares to her audience and some questioning directed to them. The actress captures Nico’s icy demeanour, whilst also allowing her humanity, fragility and vulnerability to shine through.

Fata Morgana’s fragmented, recollective style provides a glimpse into the psyche and complex emotion of Nico, opting for this instead of a traditional narrative framework. An intense turn from Remotti ensures that Fata Morgana is an attention-grabbing piece of theatre.

Fata Morgana runs until August 28th at the Pleasance EICC. Get tickets here.

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