If you have a fear of flying bugs, don’t see this show. If you don’t, prepare to develop one.
Flies is an hour of black comedy absurdness surrounding Dennis, a man battling entomophobia (a fear of flies). Dealing with the irrationality surrounding phobias by diving right into it, this three-man show takes the audience on a kaleidoscopic journey which is part rock-concert, game-show and existential crisis, alongside some of the most enjoyable audience interaction I’ve had at the Fringe so far.
This production is the result of an unholy matrimony between the innovative immersive work of Les Enfants Terribles and Pins and Needles Productions’ family-friendly theatre. However, this is definitely not a children’s show. Instead, the relationship between the two companies can be seen in the pendulum swing between the playful and the downright creepy, helped by an unnerving soundtrack (partially mixed live onstage) and a chillingly clinical set of lamps and screens.
“Absurd, ambitious and absolutely nonsensical”
What really makes the show impressive is the acting, especially the hugely effective and expressive physical movement. George Redshaw’s Dennis presents a comically tragic descent into insanity while the others swap with ease and flair between multiple characters (including the most dapper fly I have ever seen) and a talented foley artist creating sound effects onstage. Even when not technically in a scene, small facial reactions from each actor to action onstage made this production slick.
The show culminates in an ending that channels a bizarrely uplifting Metamorphosis on a sugar high, and I was left with the feeling that I still was not entirely sure what had just happened and not entirely sure I want to know. Whatever it was, it was a whole lot of fun.
This production is absurd, ambitious and absolutely nonsensical- just buy some bug spray for afterwards.
Flies is playing at The Pleasance (Venue 33) Aug 13-19, 21-27 at 17:00 pm. Tickets available here.
Image: Les Enfants Terribles
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