The Fantasist (3 stars)

This article is from 2012

The Fantasist

Dougie Firth

Imaginative treatment of mental health

The visionary-idealist-romantic of the title is a French woman named Louise who is tormented by her bipolar disorder. As the show opens we find Louise in a hospital in England where she is receiving treatment. She’s got a good, caring nurse and a dear friend who comes to visit her regularly. Nevertheless, Julia’s overactive mind subjects her to a barrage of hallucinations, some delightful, others disturbing, which engage the young woman creativity as a painter, but which ultimately threaten to overwhelm her.

The hallucinatory bright highs and the dark depths the troubled protagonist experiences are given dramatic representation through an innovative combination of physical theatre and puppetry. It’s a very effective approach that’s alternately exhilarating and creepy, the latter most particularly during the appearances of a seductive stranger, a giant puppet that climbs out of the wardrobe in Louise’s room.

Unfortunately, these visually striking sequences are not matched by the straight dramatic scenes that connect them, which are poorly scripted and perfunctorily performed. Still, this is an imaginative treatment of an important subject.

Underbelly Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, until 27 Aug, 12.25pm, £8--£9 (£7--£8).

The Fantasist

Theatre Temoin. In the mind of the fantasist, the real and the fanciful become dangerously blurred. Objects move, time changes … and a seductive stranger opens up a world of exhilaration and magic. Following an acclaimed international tour and five star sell-out success at EdFringe 2012, The Fantasist returns, spinning…

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