Fringe: Obsession

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By Steve Amery


When we think of addiction it’s easy to follow the socially accepted trope that it is both inherently good and simultaneously bad. So, how could anyone cover this contentious subject with realistic drama, sensitivity, and dignity? I introduce Obsession. A theatrical blend of dynamic lighting, interpretive dance, and storytelling wrapped around a theme focusing on the rise and fall of addictive personalities.

Obsession delivers an uncomfortable ride as we witness the euphoric and short-lived high of alcohol consumption, then quickly switching to the exhausting chase for dopamine and validation via social media overload. Throw in the topical issue around vaping and then top the hedonistic list with the vacuous pursuit of consumerism and we quickly feel humankind is doomed. Or is it?

The central figure to this nuclear bomb of a social construct is our resident hero psychologist played superbly by Katherine Sortini. Katherine’s role was pivotal in establishing the key narrative punching through the fog of indifference that recovery was not possible, that the antithesis to this is a sense of normal is possible and most importantly we can live harmoniously with addiction. Without Katherine’s heartfelt vulnerability, we would not have felt Katherine’s radiant despair and witnessed the gradual downfall of the role as Katherine’s character fell victim to the divisive and insidious addiction machine. But there is hope.

Through the four dancers, the antagonist of addiction was rhythmically executed in time to the music and lightning. They augmented the mood with well-timed expression and enthusiasm, taking the audience through a range of uncomfortable emotions and ending the show with a somber conclusion of succumbing to the perplexities of human frailty and yet demonstrating the power of support through community.

Overall, the well-crafted and choreographed interpretive dance captivated the audience. Spurts of purposeful lighting and thundering music added to the ambiance and saturated the intended mood. The rise and fall and then the phoenix rise of addicts to sobriety was well done. A well-deserved 4.5 stars to Fiona Smith and the crew.

4.5 Stars

To book tickets to this show, go here.

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