Fiction

Fiction is unlike anything else you'll see at the Fringe. Partially because you don't do much seeing. The show takes the form of a narrative soundscape, putting each audience member into a set of headphones in the darkened theatre, for an individual journey that is gripping and frighteningly ambiguous.

Directors David Rosenberg and Glen Neath (also the writer) explicitly set out to create a 'dream-like experience', and have succeeded in spades. It is wonderfully disorientating

A brief video introduction gives some visual cues to help piece together the location in your mind: a deathly still hotel room, with moody, dizzying corridors that invokes the most tense of moments from The Shining or even Inception... though it might just be that the soft French accents remind me too much of Marion Cotillard (which is no bad thing). But the world itself has to be pieced together through your own imagination and faulty memory, made all the harder by indistinct noises, sudden jumps in location and time, and a refusal to distinguish between the apparently various endings experienced in this one journey. Directors David Rosenberg and Glen Neath (also the writer) explicitly set out to create a 'dream-like experience', and have succeeded in spades. It is wonderfully disorientating.

The award-winning composers behind the sound design deserve the greatest praise, artfully constructing the soundscape of your dream. The low whispers of your guide leave you intensely sensitive to the slightest noise, making the harsh clink of a lift door or the revving of an engine seem like cruel sensory overload. And there is nothing more terrifying than a sound you can't decipher in the dark. The plot and dialogue itself is simple, yet often empty of meaning, teasing a causal relationship to scenes which only truly connect through their aural links. It's never clear who you can trust, if anyone. And your own silence, surrounded by noise, your own lack of agency in a story that won't explicate itself to you, is frustrating but perfect for the sense of your being a helpless dreamer, victim to a subconscious that will only offer you glimpses of meaning, shreds of half-sense.


The group presence of an audience around you simply serves to complicate things more: how can you tell what sounds are really around you, and which are fiction? If you want something truly intriguing and off the beaten track, come and live the dream.

Reviews by Henry St Leger

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

A surreal, immersive experience taking place in total darkness. Fiction explores the areas where sleep and wakefulness meet. The audience don headphones for an anxiously intimate, disorientating journey through the sprawling architecture of dreams as the hyper-realistic binaural 3D sound puts you in the centre of the show. The second collaboration between the creators of Ring, director David Rosenberg (Electric Hotel) and writer/novelist Glen Neath with music/sound from Ben and Max Ringham. Produced by three time Herald Angel Award winners Fuel. 'Terrifically clever, cunningly manipulative, and fun' (Guardian). 'An absolute must-see' ***** (WhatsOnStage.com) on Ring.