to know how to recognise the occult in your child? How to be vigilant for signs of Satan? Hoping for practical tips to drive the Devil out? This is the educational lecture for you.
Her earnest fragility never wavers and perhaps what is most surprising about her is just how likeable she is
Pam, perfectly tailored in a pink pant suit and pearl earrings, is ready to help all those parents and concerned citizens out there who are 'Bothered by Dungeons and Dragons' (BADD), by sharing her research and advice. It is going to have to be slightly rushed though, as the Prairie Pentecostal Ping Pong team have been double booked into the church tonight.
Pam, played by Carrie Marx, is incredibly well realised. An ardent supporter of family values and Cherryade, she tenaciously battles her discomfort and inexperience with public speaking to present the message so important to her. That being how to help teenagers in occultic trouble. Did you know that our children's brains are all soft and squishy and ready to be moulded to Satan's will? Or that most role players have difficulty distinguishing between fiction and reality? Pam dishes out saccharine judgement and psuedo-statistics in her scaremongering attempts to find support. Is there any more banal prefix to a forcible opinion then 'As a mother...'
As the show progresses, Marx also draws out from Pam the tragic fear that underpins all prejudice. Her earnest fragility never wavers and perhaps what is most surprising about her is just how likeable she is. Most of us will have gone there hoping to have a good laugh at mid-west parochialism and the nature of moral panic. It's slightly off script to end up pitying our lecturer. Pam is a fully fleshed person. At no point is your attention drawn to the acting behind the role, and she is one of the Fringe's more memorable creations.
Pam's story gradually turns down a dark path. With no Paladin to save her or Cleric to heal her, we know it isn't going to end well. The show could do with tidying up towards the end in terms of narrative and although the rushed nature of the piece is intentional, it feels forced at times. Despite this, it works well and Marx herself is a compelling actress and accomplished writer. A performer to look out for.