Gilded Balloon at Teviot Row House, Edinburgh
August, 2001

** Like Strindberg designed by IKEA

This production of Niels Frederik Dahl's psychological family thriller won a Fringe First award.  Heaven only knows why.

People stand bolt upright on a grey square playing area, dressed in various shades of monochrome; they sit on four wooden folding chairs and tell each other poetic stories from their respective pasts or possible pasts. One of them plays a violin. They do all this for a terribly long time.

Father went missing; ne'er-do-well son Tom has gone blind, and his psychic girlfriend offers to find Dad. The family don't get on together. At some length. That's all there is to it.

Oh, there has to be more to the Fringe than painted-smile entertainment, and in terms of desperately earnest minimalist productions this is no doubt superior. But really, life is simply too short to take on trust the claim that there is some universal power in this dreary chunk of family navel-gazing. That's why I'm not even writing a full-length review of it.

Written for

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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