Man Who Fell Out of Bed

Mr Price (Scott Baxter) has had a very significant role in an election – or so it would seem. We first see him attending voluntarily at a ‘centre’ which he soon feels is not a good place to be in. He then becomes almost besieged by an invisible voice, giving him instructions. It also appears that his memory has been erased and he knows little of his past, even of who he is, and small shards keep returning to him.However, he did have sufficient sense of identity and location to receive a letter asking him to be at the ‘centre’ and a sense of obligation that led him to attend. We receive flashbacks concerning his political activities and suggestions he was some kind of ‘mole’. Or was he set up? An opposition group then try to help him. But then others suggest this opposition group is just a front, and he must beware.I think you may be realising that this is a complex story. It is clearly one of Kafka’s grandchildren, and is concerned about the extent to which the state surveys us, increasingly, about secret detention centres, and about the manipulation of the small individual. However, I think that the talented writer, Paul Sellar, simply stirs too many legs of toads and ears of bats into his witches’ cauldron. He does succeed in making the viewer share the sense of helplessness and confusion, though the hapless Mr Price never seemed to me to be the sort of character who previously would have been a significant political player.There is a large cast of fifteen, some of whom are used better than others. Joseph Murray as Strauss is chilling, because he is so completely unchanging in his helpfulness. Apart from Mr Price, characters are not developed – and his is falling apart – because this is a play of ideas. Though the principal idea seems to be – they are after you – beware! I think the play may have been more successful if it had been both more focused and more developed. But high marks for the partly student cast for coping so well with a difficult text.

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The Blurb

Everyone's terribly polite and helpful at Fairview Vale. But what's Mr. Price doing there? All becomes terrifyingly clear in Paul Sellar's intriguingly funny but nightmarishly sinister vision of the world to come.

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