Phonographic General Supplies Theatre Company
Displaying horror on stage can be a difficult business. What works in one instance can be frightening to one person and, to another, simply laughable. Equally there is a fine line between the point at which something is interesting and when it becomes downright dull.
Exsomnia falls foul of these judgements at several points throughout the performances. From badly timed audio cues and actors not being in the right places, to some of the story segments being so horribly misjudged that the audience were practically shaking their heads in disbelief at what they were seeing. The tragedy of Exsomnia is that when it was working, the production was one of the most inventive and intelligently devised I've seen all Fringe.
The performance of a dreamstate isn't easy, and the constantly flitting and changing scenery, characters and situations were numerous and yet still cohesive. As the dream moved from absurdist references to pink shoes and gingham chequered patterns, to the recurrent black clad figure of a woman, the show did manage to interest and occasionally build a sense of creeping dread. However the overlong running time and the simple excess of characters and scenes ruined what could have built into a fascinating piece.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan