FRINGE REVIEW – Vertigo, Bedlam


Brilliantly uplifting, Vertigo is a touching and entertaining delve into the memories and difficulties of growing up.

Penn and Hogg’s concept of being accidentally double-booked into the same venue at the same time is an inventive and exciting start for a bright and dazzling piece. It gives the whole performance immense texture and allows the audience to remain always on their toes. The hotch-potch montage of moments has a stunning and impressive unpredictability. It generates many endearing and comical moments and gives the audience the unique and exciting opportunity of seemingly seeing a show created before their eyes. These moments however could realize more impact if the fluidity and pace of the show was tighter with less unnecessary pauses.

Both Penn and Hogg are instantly incredibly likeable, being fun, bright and relaxed. They mutually hold a gorgeous presence on stage which is deep and touching. Despite occasional audience addresses undermining their performances, Penn and Hogg constantly receive the audience’s approval that they are openly seeking. All images described and created by the two delightful performers are beautiful, enchanting and thoroughly believable. It was impossible not to feel compassion towards the two performer’s complexities.

The performance was packed full of innovative theatrical techniques; who would have believed the Bedlam theatre could host a credible re-enactment of a sky dive! Using numerous skills, especially when combined with sound and lighting, the duo achieve heightened points of energy and tension which hold immense focus. Hearing snippets of the duo’s stunning voices was teasing when you did not hear a great deal of them. The only time Hogg’s voice was properly embraced it was done so along Penn’s dialogue and was not entirely effective.

An insightful and imaginative ending left the audience thoroughly inspired with wide smiles and pondering thoughts.

Review by Hayley-Jane Doyle

8-13 August, 15:25 @ Bedlam

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