Fiction @ Pleasance Dome

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

Verdict: Highly Recommended Show

Genre: Multimedia

Venue: Pleasance Dome

Website: Fuel Theatre

Company: Fuel, David Rosenberg and Glen Neath

Lowdown

A surreal, immersive experience taking place in total darkness.

Review

Fiction is a brilliantly unique theatre experience. After a disjointed start of seemingly random scenes on the screen the audience, each wearing their headphones, are plunged into absolute darkness and stay that way for the duration.

The voice that begins whispering through the headphones in the pitch black of the room is beautifully creepy and creates a tense and interesting atmosphere for everything to unfold into. The audience are taken into a dreamlike work of fiction and are treated as individuals not as members of a larger crowd.

Listening to the story play out,  imagination is easily evoked and you are quickly drawn in to the odd world where no-one really seems to know what is fully going on. There are clues littered throughout the text to illuminate the bigger picture and once you get to a certain sequence involving a pen and a ceiling fan everything falls into place and confirms the scenario which takes away some of the confusion but not the strangeness of the performance.

The darkness genenric tetracycline allows for more focus to fall on the performance that can’t be viewed, except in the head of the individual, and it is easier to pick up certain cues and hints along the way. While the headphones allow for an intense auditory experience, the sounds through headphones teamed with the sounds playing from within the room itself create layers creating a richer experience.

The culmination of sound, and the lights coming up to reveal a smoke filled room of blinking, disorientated people is an experience in itself. Silence fills the room as everyone adjusts back into reality and begins to process what has just happened.

Fiction is very clever and well constructed, there is a slight lull in the middle where the initial bizarreness has worn off and theres not quite enough to sustain full attention before it begins to rise back up into an interesting, questioning experience. That experience may differ from person to person depending on imagination, and acceptance over the circumstances however it is guaranteed everyone would agree that Fiction is rather an alternative theatre production.

This review originally appeared on FringeReview and is reproduced in partnership with their permission.

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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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