Friday 30 September 2016

___day Night's Dream - Melbourne Fringe Festival review

One delightful certainty during the Melbourne Fringe Festival is that there will be a number of performances being held in random and uncommon locations, and ____day Night's Dream is another great example of this. This immersive show explores the dreams of seven people, and it does so on a 16th floor apartment overlooking the city.

Interestingly, the dreams are all based on the performers' (
Iryna Byeylyayeva, James Christensen, Aram Geleris, Daniel Holmes, Madeleine Johnson, Sara Laurena and Freya McGrath) own dreams, and performing them within the confines of the apartment creates a literal intimacy as well as a metaphorical one, having been invited into this very personal space, to be privy to these personal dreams.

Director Declan Mulcahy, has taken care to depict the retelling of each dream differently, ensuring the audience is engaged and also not permitting us to get too comfortable with what might happen next – just like in dreams. One unnerving dream unfolds in a bedroom, another takes place via a TV screen that is wheeled out to us in the living room, while a third experience involves a tactile recount of the dreamer's story.

The apartment is small and while fitting everyone is a tight squeeze, the creators have wisely chosen to split the group, with scenes being performed simultaneously in different rooms. The downside to this is, that there are times when it is difficult to focus on the dream at hand as you can overhear others being told. This is particularly the case in the living room where I was so eager to hear and attempt to make sense of the recitations by the blindfolded man sitting at a computer screen, "staring" at a blank word doc but proved impossible with another exchange taking place three feet away.

The final dream is quite a surreal experience in ____day Night's Dream, as we watch and listen in the communal courtyard, while the rest of the building’s tenants go about their business. And then - just like a real dream - it’s over and we are left to walk out into the darkness. Perhaps this is what a waking dream feels like.

Venue: Cnr Bouverie St and Victoria St, Carlton, 3053
Season: until 1 October | 8pm and 10pm
Length: 50 minutes
Tickets: $25 Full | $20 Conc
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

* Original review appeared on TheatrePress on 30 September 2016.

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