Inside Private Lives

Skepticism and fear must be brushed aside to enjoy this curious and challenging interactive performance.

archive review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
33329 large
115270 original
Published 03 Aug 2007

Sceptical and shaking, I took my seat in the small intimate theatre at the Joker Dome. Interactive theatre? Doesn’t that mean I have to… perform?

It certainly does. And from the white washed, expectant faces around me it appears everyone was having similar doubts. They shouldn’t have.

Inside Private Lives is thinking man’s theatre – a challenge, a theatrical treat and an ingenious investigation into other people’s lives. Four bygone figures of the twentieth century are presented to the audience at the height of their most controversial moments: a gloriously flirtatious Christine Jorgenson defends her right for a double page spread in Playboy – despite being born a man; a nerdy David Koresh encourages his cult members to give up their women so he can spread his divine seed. Your role is to make decisions about these people - rile them, flirt with them, attack them or congratulate them. It is a spanking new idea and it works.

Not only was the acting superb, but the audience reactions were both fascinating and engaging. Christine Jorgenson’s impromptu dance with an excited paunchy middle aged audience member turned more than a little raunchy as, ever the opportunist, he opted for a little buttock squeezing. David Koresh inspired opposite reactions as the audience grew increasingly agitated. "What about the ten commandments?" a grey haired lady demanded, visibly disgusted. This is a performance for the curious: I had entered the Dome cynical – but emerged thrilled and thirsty for more. And what happens to the characters? Go and ask them yourselves.