Are Strings Attached Review

You want to make your mark on the world, don’t you? Of course you do. It’s only natural.

That’s one of the starting points for this exhilarating one-man play that’s performed live in your own front room.

But whose mark is it you are trying to make? And do you need to make it at all?

DOG is a man with a can who has just come into your home. His family, he tells you, expected great things of him and pushed him hard. But he dropped out, got a bedsit and left the family ambitions behind.

It was then that he started making a mark. His mark. From brick walls to poster sites. Pretty soon you could see the tag ‘DOG’ sprayed all over town.

We enter the insider logic of distinctions between graffiti, street art and tags. We learn about the gang’s system of grading locations as precisely as any performance management routine. We experience the incessant need for the tag to remain visible. Me! Me! Me!

The story of DOG is also about what actor Simon Lovat describes as ‘toxic dreams’. Our collective drive for fame and attention is like a pyramid selling of the psyche because, logically, most cannot succeed. Indeed, DOG’s fall is quite literal. We won’t spoil the plot.

The play is performed with minimal props, no stage and without make-up. That needs a class performance. Yet Simon Lovat manages to take us from his childhood home to the girder of a railway bridge with the twist of his head or the gaze of an eye. The acting is physical and astounding. There’s no time to blink.

Simon has form in this area. He has acted in London and the South East and his earlier one-man play, ‘Dead Happy’, toured houses during previous Brighton festivals.

Having an actor performing a coffee table away from your sofa can be disconcerting. It’s intimate theatre. It’s both unsettling and seriously fun. It’s empty when he leaves.

Venue: In your own home
Remaining Dates: May 17th, May 24th, May 25th and May 31st
Tickets: Fringe Box Office or 01273 917272

Words by Mike Aiken
Photos by Sebastian Beaumont

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Mike Aiken

Mike lives in Brighton. This is a full time occupation. He's also a researcher, writer and activist. Any time left over he spends hanging around cafes and pubs listening to people on their phones. He loves theatre that pokes into difficult places. You won't find him on Facebook.

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