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Brighton Fringe 2007


Inspector Sands and Stamping Ground

Venue: Komedia Upstairs



Basing a piece of drama on a short poem by TS Elliot seems like an odd premise for a play, and Hysteria is indeed an odd play.

However, its peculiarity is its charm – an obsessive-compulsive waiter, quietly disapproves of a nervous couple struggling through their first date, whilst prophecies of doom echo through her brain. The couple struggle to communicate over complex menus and awkward and hilarious misunderstandings, taking breaks from each other to give the audience lectures and gorge themselves on bananas. Sounds wacky? Well it’s certainly that.

Not the most easily accessible of comedies, it is easy to see why the piece appealed to the high-brow Total Theatre judges at last year’s Edinburgh Festival. The show is well thought out and well rehearsed, with a brilliantly understated performance from Luckina Eisler as the waiter. The subtle portrayal of unsaid thoughts and irrational feelings is performed to perfection by Giulia Innocenti and Ben Lewis, and this is helped greatly by an excellent lighting design from Katharine Williams. The play comes to a surprisingly clichéd ending, given the total originality that the rest of the show displays, but despite this it was an expertly-crafted comedy, well worth seeing.