Review: Fever Dream: Southside

'Theatre', Jeffrey Smith / CC
Photograph: 'Theatre', Jeffrey Smith / CC

Genre: Comedy Thriller

Venue:Citizens Theatre Glasgow

Written by: Douglas Maxwell

Directed by: Dominic Hill

Lowdown

A comedy thriller set in Govanhill where fantasy blurs with reality.

Review

Fever Dream: Southside is vivid, imaginative, and well staged. It is also packed with stereotypes and cliches, and does not give the broad representation of the Southside of Glasgow that is expected. Each character is an – often offensive – stereotype, from the smart asian boy to the quirky, attention seeking performance artist, with not much room for any development. The racism wrapped in humour is unnecessary and creates an obviously white, middle class production which is a shame given the setting of the piece.

Fever Dream seems more to be a reflection on art and performance than of the people of Glasgow with lines such as “real power comes from performance”, and “great art challenges” peppered throughout it. It appears as an allegory for artists worried about becoming irrelevant and fading away to become regular people i.e invisible, which feels out of place with the rest of the themes.

The profound is mixed with humour, inparticular with the ‘twist’ within the missionaries storyline that was evident very early on, and the poetry set to music which feels staged and jarring. Mental health is portrayed in a cliched manner and has no depth of thought or subtlety, though there is a fine line between good and evil and also life and death throughout the performance which does have a nice subtlety to it.

The acting is solid throughout and the direction is well done, as is the object manipulation. The writing and content however are lacking. One thing is clear though, Terry the Pterodactyl should have his own stage show.

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Christine Lawler 42 Articles
Christine has a passion for literature and has been a closeted writer since childhood. Other passions include theatre, film, and all things geeky. She lives in Glasgow with a cat named Molls and a tortoise named Haruki Kabuki.

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