Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Viewless" - Edinburgh Fringe 2011

There's a significant disconnect between the show and its blurb in the programme. What sounds like a fairly subtle, if humourous, take on witness protection is in fact an absurd comedy set in a fantastical realm a la Wonderland / Dissocia / Neverwhere (choose your own pop culture reference). Sometimes daft (funny); sometimes daft (stupid). Often funny (ha ha); occasionally funny (odd). Always entertaining. Ultimately disappointing.

There are some great set piece moments, but too often they feel like they have been bolted-on to get a laugh and lack any relevance to rest of the show. When it does focus the audience attention on the impact being placed in witness protection has on a person, it only serves to highlight wasted opportunities elsewhere.

Fortunately, the production has plenty of tricks up its sleeve to distract from its failings in the shape of superb sound and video effects. It also benefits greatly from three fine performances from Finn Den Hertog, Robbie Jack and Richard Addison.

"Viewless" may fail to explore the depths its subject deserves, but if you accept it for what it is, it will reward you with a slick and polished hour of entertainment.

Viewless runs at Hill Street Theatre until 29th August (not 24th)
Image used with permission

1 Heckle

Amie said...

We saw this show on Monday on the recommendation of someone at another show and thought it was absolutely brilliant and amazing and are surprised it has not been picked up. The performance of the older man in particular was very strong and moving. Maybe the PT aspect put some viewers off but nwe thought it wass a complete knockout and hope it will go further. Would love to see it again, maybe somewhere like the Arcola?