Reality Rating: 2/5
Fidget Factor: 0.8
Known lover of immersive theatre, dreamplay was high on Scatter’s list. After ninety minutes of screeching, screaming and interactive torment, disappointment and frustration were left in place of excitement and curiosity.
The audience are thrown into the strange world of August Strindberg. After an elegantly dressed woman (Laura Moody) plays the cello in abrupt repeat, we are immediately faced with an uncomfortable confrontation from a gasping, lost individual who swings her body through the crowd. She touches audience members on the chest and reacts with emotions of heartache and sadness. This direction causes confusion, leaving us alarmed and perplexed from the start of the performance. Rather than inviting the audience in to a kooky dream land, the obscure story line mixed with a large amount of ‘in your face’ action makes for an isolating production.
Heavy with audience participation, dreamplay is not for the shy or timid, on several occasions we are intimidated into taking part. Be prepared to make a move during this production, dreamplay is a promenade performance that has you sit cross legged on the floor, up and down stairs and kept on your feet for the best part of the show.
Underneath the screeching and screaming, there was a selection of impressive acting from the cast. Michelle Luther’s welsh character is particularly amusing, with a strong accent and animated facial expressions. There are one or two compelling parts to the play, notably the bedroom scene between Jade Ogugua and Jack Wilkinson. The two perform convincing essences of real life arguments; one small comment spirals out of control, sparks of anger, jealousy and joy all mixed together. The unnatural style of the piece is still present during this scene; a careful balance of obscure and familiar is achieved – unfortunately this can’t be said for the rest of the performance.
Towards the end of dreamplay, I found myself wanting the piece to end. Frustrated with obstructed sight lines where the only thing to see was the back of the person in front and standing still for large portions of time – the novelty of bizarre entertainment had worn off.
Click for Tix: @Vaults
▦ Photos – Courtesy of Cesare De Giglio.
Time: 90 minutes
Running: 10 SEP 16 – 1 OCT 16
♥ Thank you to Lauren Macready @ChloeNelkin for the invite