Shaw Performing Arts Centre (Venue 9), to Saturday
Good news first: you’ll leave Bedlam knowing how to give a lobotomy by sticking a probe through an eye socket.
Bad news: sitting through this plodding piece makes you feel like you’ve had one.
All snark aside, Bedlam is simply not ready for the stage. After the fringe guide went to press, Edmonton’s Alexander Forsyth swapped his original entry, Pretty Bird, for his one-man monologue about the doctor who popularized transorbital lobotomies.
It’s disappointing that Forsyth — who is sober and likable onstage — didn’t have something more polished in his catalogue. Bedlam feels like a too-early script rehearsal: it’s monotonous, broken by long pauses that could be pregnant but are more likely forgotten lines. A good chunk of time is spent tediously reciting patients’ medical records.
By the time the play strikes actual emotion and character development, it’s too late: the audience has already checked out.
— Melissa Martin
From the official Fringe Festival program:
NOTE THIS IS A DIFFERENT PLAY THAN LISTED IN PRINTED PROGRAM: "December 7, 1952. This is Dr. Walter Freeman. The procedures I have performed have changed the world, not certainly for the better, but perhaps neither for the worse." A journey of loss and regret in the most desperate of circumstances, this is the tragic true story of the father of modern lobotomy and his horrific quest to end mental illness.
Recommended For: Mature Audience
Length: 60 MIN
Warnings: Subject Matter, Language,