Writer &Director: Dan Bergin
Reviewer: Sophie Everton Ryan
Is Ste Murray to become a spy or a mafia member? Can he successfully overcome obstacles in his path or will he remain helpless? You decide. Dan Bergin’s Fused is a point-and-click throwback to vintage video games. This immersive live performance grabs the audience from the start as twelve assertive volunteers take to controlling the onstage adventure.
To give the audience a microphone is an uncertain chance. But to give the audience complete creative control of the story? Well that’s the biggest risk of them all. The show started out a little slow as the volunteers to guide the performance got used to directing Murray. However things picked up when a timed element was introduced. The sheer complexity of the possible outcomes and storylines that Bergin and the cast have prepared is mesmerizing and inspiring. Murray steals the show with his effortless charm and subtle sarcasm towards the audience. Overall the actors work wonderfully together, they are on top of their improvisation, pace and energy as they portray a multitude of characters. There is an element of confidence in this ensemble that balances the riskiness of the unknown of the performance. The entire piece is meticulously thought out, extremely well choreographed and spontaneously fun. There is a pleasant mix of short descriptive narrative moments and puzzles for the volunteers to decipher. The premise that one could have seen a completely different show through choosing different pathways is fascinating as one wonders if any other group has seen the same storyline?
Zia Holly’s set is delightful and complex. The bright cartoonish changeable pieces constantly transfix the audience into the video game atmosphere and provide elements of humour, such as a ‘loading’ piece that is brought across the stage as the sets are changing.
The audience love Fused. From start to finish they were transfixed, eager to solve all the puzzles and delighted to yell out possible answers. Fused is, in two words, pure fun. Bergin’s piece is successfully riveting, the risk is apparent but it is utterly an enjoyable night at the theatre.
Photo courtesy of Project Arts Centre. Runs until 13th December.