FREAKS people the House of Omega at the Assembly Rooms.
Omega, according to the press blurb is ‘a hoochie-coochie carnival for the end of time.’ Judging by the reaction of reviewers and audiences it is the most Marmite production to hit the Fringe for years.
Hence the reason I popped in to watch it. After this paper gave it a one- star review, the company asked for a second opinion. Mine. So here goes.
All theatre is an exercise in voyeurism. So let’s imagine watching the vignettes that make up this piece of physical theatre as akin to watching the performing housemates in Big Brother... it’s not for everyone.
An unintelligible huckster invites us into his world, a dark, twisted place, psychedelic, macabre and loud. Very loud. Too loud.
Devoid, therefore, of narration the sketches become stand-alone routines and, at times, engrossing insights into the exploitative machinations of the human mind - Tod Browning’s cult 1932 movie Freaks kept coming to mind.
As one character appears to gouge his eyes out, it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted, but for all those who leave, many stay to revel in its outrageous exhibitionism and raw, raunchy staging.
Abstract, fragmented, disturbing and absurd, there is the kernel of a fascinating piece of theatre at the heart of Omega - in a later time slot it would be transformed into quite a different beast.
Is it worth just a single star? For everyone who says yes, there will be many more who disagree.
Like Freaks, I predict Omega will ultimately become a cult show, if it isn’t already, a nightmarish fairytale that, love it or hate it, you have to at least see.
Go on take a trip to the dark side.