Chasing Dragons


Nottingham New Theatre
C soco

When a fantasy writer develops schizophrenia and begins to live inside his own stories, it's up to his traumatised ex-missionary sister to try to nurse him to health. Despite years of separation and the antagonism of his psychitrist who seems over-eager to have him commited, they must work through their issues.

It's a nice idea but doesn't live up to the lofty goals it sets itself, what with the various narrative threads all vying for time they aren't given and the preponderance of scenes that drag without doing much. The superfluous nature of the unsympathetic psychiatrist, who appears only to spout psychobabble before begging to have James committed, adds little to the production but minutes.

What's more, the sister's subplot about the horrors in Rwanda are sped over, while stage time is given over to the prattling of the barbarian hero of the novels. Had they dropped a few threads then there could have been a far tighter narrative which would have better suited the subtle and underplayed acting on display.

Reviewer: Graeme Strachan