Writer: Oliver Lansley
Reviewer: Clare Howdon
Flies, a co-production between Les Enfants Terribles and Pins and Needles Productions centres on Dennis whose irrational fear of flies is affecting his mental health to such a degree that he has bought a one-way ticket to Antarctica. However, when this plan is foiled, Dennis decides to fight his fear head on to regain some control of his dysfunctional life.
The three-strong cast each give a stellar performance to bring Oliver Lansley’s macabre script to life, but it is Piers Hampton who truly shines in the role of the fly. Hampton’s razor-sharp delivery ensures that every syllable is punctuated with delightful vindictiveness and his monologues are hugely successful in capturing Flies black comedy style. George Readshaw effectively captures the timidity of protagonist Dennis, particularly in his striking physical presence whilst Harry Humberstone’s impressive sound effects and versatility skills successfully bring an abundance of weird and wonderful characters to life, which alongside Kid Carpet’s chilling sound design, contributes nicely to the absurdist feel of the piece.
Flies isn’t always an easy watch and there is an intensity to the performance, especially in the intimate surroundings of Pleasance Two, which makes it feel a little enduring at times, but this is essentially it’s strength. Flies is an original and inventive piece of theatre, brimming with Les Enfant Terribles’ trademark mixture of storytelling, music and innovative staging. Combined with Pins and Needles’ quirky and multi-sensory style, the result is an intriguing and satisfyingly perverse evening of theatre.
Runs until 27 August 2018 | Image: Contributed