Fringe World 2016 Review: Inside We Hide
“Inside We Hide” written byAnn-Marie Biagioni and directed by Scott Corbett is an on stage thriller exploring the overarching theme of guilt via subthemes of loyalty, fear, suspense and compassion. On entrance into the Blue Room Theatre, audience members are immediately drawn into the world of the characters. The theatre requires audience members to enter via the stage to reach the seating, creating a sense of unity between reality and performance. This was very effective in encouraging viewers to engage prior to the start of the play, especially as it starts on such an elevated note.
Mary (Verity Softly) shockingly finds herself bound at the ankle by a rope leading to a daunting empty hole in the wall. She is then greeted by an unnervingly comfortable Louise (Alicia Osyka) who reveals that she has been there for a while, but refuses to give any useful information about the situation. A third newcomer, Andy (Brenn Hislop) awakens in complete disorientation and dismay. Immediately, the audience is introduced to a very tense situation, looking for answers. Next, we are introduced to an observer, via an audio of a small child’s voice who demands confusing tasks of the three, in return for a person she has in captivity who is suffering because of them. Each individual reacts differently to the person she has captured which slowly allows the audience to understand the themes of the play.
The reasons behind each character’s situation allows the audience to understand that they have been captured in order for them to realize the person they have become, as a result of an event or series of events causing them to feel intense guilt. With characters turning to substances, deep emotional turmoil or complete numbness and selfishness. A lot of black comedy, especially by Osyka, lightens the mood towards the beginning of the play, but as the play progresses we see a replacement of comedy with aggressiveness and negativity – revealing the underlying themes.
Each character contrasts the other. When introduced to Louise, audience members are invited to trust her as she is familiar with the environment. Her calm nature effectively opposes the manic of the two newcomers, even when they insist on information about the environment. However our trust is questioned when Louise manages to joke about situations related to death and torture, challenging whether Louise’s composure is normal, or whether the environment is as detrimental as the two newcomers fear.
The play invites engaged audience members as it closes without resolution or confirmation that the potential underlying themes were as the audience thought. Through discussion with audience after the play, some were left confused and unsure. Which can either be a positive or negative. I believe this to be a positive as it allows us to draw our own meaning and understanding of the story.
Overall, the play was very engaging and well performed/directed/written. It provided a good mixture of comedy, thrill and intrigue. The play is still being performed until the 13th February and I would highly recommend a visit.