Fringe Review: "Night Sweats" Lets all the freakishness hang out
I'm always impressed when small theatre shows transcend their limitations through an artful use of performance, light and sound. Timothy Green's Night Sweats is such a show.
Green's hour-long one-man show, a maniacal treatise on inadequacy and self-loathing, let's it all hang out – thankfully, not in the literal physical sense, though there is some stripping involved – and you can't help but be moved by his unclean honesty. The truth can make a person bitter and fearful, but Green sweetens the deal with some terrific physical comedy and a running gag with Tilda Swinton as a train announcer, which also serves as a kind of interlude throughout the show.
It also helps that, on a superficial level, Green is fascinating to watch. He's athletic and wiry, just brimming with nervous energy. Yet he's a disciplined performer, never giving too much or too little to the dramatic sequences or the silly, vaudevillian ones. He transitions between these extremes so often that it should be sickening and confusing and annoying, but it never is.
The overall effect is like watching someone successfully walk a tight rope when there are strobe lights and loud noises. The skill involved is impressive, no doubt. And he approximates the quality of the titular show, and all the emotionally true but nonsensical stream-of-consciousness madness that it implies.
But can anything meaningful be extracted from Night Sweats? Something applicable and relatable to your own life? Maybe, maybe not. Personally I was unmoved, though it's not due to Green's inadequacy as an artist; he's as thoughtful and talented as they come. Some things just won't speak to you, and that's fine.
But either way, Night Sweats is worth a go.