The Yellow Wallpaper - Edinburgh Fringe 2019 Review (Dram Viver)

image of event
Photo credit: Dram Viver

"The Yellow Wallpaper" is an intriguing concept - a woman, with mental health issues, trapped in a room and driven to the insanity of believing her disgustingly patterned wallpaper is alive.

I'll give this to Dram Viver - they made the wallpaper very ugly and borderline disturbing- I believed that the lead actor was driven mad by it.

But the successful execution of the project seems to stop there - the problem with "The Yellow Wallpaper" is that it has an identity crisis: it can't decide what it wants to be: it has elements of comedy, drama, physical theatre, music, spoken word, and poetry, and very unfortunately, it does not achieve any of these very well.

This is not a comment on the quality of the performers - they were mostly great, it was just as if they didn't really know what they were doing because they were doing far too much. They were, however, far better singers than actors. I wonder why they didn't just opt to do a musical.

The costumes were a standout of the show - there were 4 ensemble actors who represented the living wallpaper, and they were decked head to toe in the patterns of the wall - other than one of them, who wore a crop top, which didn't seem to fit with the other 3 costumes. 

Overall, "The Yellow Wallpaper", whilst being an intriguing concept, just misses the mark in so many areas, when I could tell if they'd stuck to one of those areas, it could easily have been a 4 or 5 star show. Display a piece of physical theatre, musical theatre, dramatic theatre or comedic theatre. Just decide which one, rather than produce a diluted mess of them all.

Verdict: ★★★

"The Yellow Wallpaper" has now concluded it's run at the Fringe. 


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