FRINGE 2016: THEATRE – Trampoline – Tuxedo Cat – 5K

Dreams are strange things; no-one really knows why we have them. Sometimes they’re hilarious, sometimes they’re terrifying, often they’re completely mundane. For Matt (Shane Adamczak), they’re the single most engrossing thing in his life. They permeate his day-to-day existence; making it hard for him to know what’s real and what’s not, impeding his ability to hold down a job, and leaving social interactions awkward at best.

His therapist, Vangilles (Whitney Richards), tries to help him reign in his rampant imagination, and his need to tell everyone about it, without much success. Until, that is, the appearance of Kelly (also played by Richards), Matt’s quirky and vibrant new neighbour. What ensues is a sweet (but not in a saccharine way) story, about two people appreciating the eccentricities in each other and helping one another deal with life and the curve-balls it throws. Written by Adamczak, this is another excellent piece of independent theatre from Weeping Spoon Productions.

All of the performances are outstanding. Richards manages to balance the requirements of the dual roles of Kelly and Vangilles well, giving each their own subtle traits and personality while managing to retain the truth in their characters, so that neither seem unduly clichéd or disingenuous. As Matt’s cousin Frank, and a host of other characters, both real and imagined, St John Cowcher gets some of the funniest lines in the show; he delivers them at just the right frequency of strangeness so that it’s often uncertain whether they are real or in Matt’s imagination. Having created a character who has such a disconnect from reality, it would be easy to portray Matt in an exaggeratedly bizarre fashion; however, Adamczak has also imbued in him an authenticity that gives him a genuine likeability and credibility, despite the absurdities going on around him.

There’s really nothing to dislike about this show; it combines comedy and drama, silliness and complexity, reality and fantasy – all with a delightful soundtrack and a bunch of pleasing pop-culture references. It’s also probably the only time you’ll enjoy the repeated presence of Kenny G in a production.

Kryztoff rating: 5K

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