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Fringe Review: Dark Fantastic

May 19, 2013

I thought that writer/performer Martin Dockery's previous solo Fringe outings (Wanderlust, The Bike Trip, Bursting Into Flames) were out of this world, but his latest is like something from a parallel dimension. I won't even attempt to describe Dark Fantastic's surreal Möbius strip of a storyline, which switches from first to second to third person, somehow fusing a mute orphan, photocopier de-jamming pictograms, and the secret of Rome's construction into a intellectually mystifying but emotionally compelling whole.

Dockery, known in the past for his hyperkinetic stage presence, instead plant himself behind a microphone for the entire show, hiding immobile in half-light behind a the brim of a cowboy cowboy hat for long stretches before finally freeing his relentlessly restless hands to gesticulate wildly. Sitting in the darkness, listening to Dockery rhythmic voice against an ominous ever-evolving sonic backdrop, is like a guided meditation session led by David Lynch. I found the the effect entrancingly hypnotic, even if I can't quite explain what the hell it was about (a repeated refrain “What chance does a child have in this world who has not known one moment of love from his mother?” might provide a key to unlocking the theme). Just beware you aren't lulled to sleep listening to it; who knows what dreams may come.


The Dark Fantastic by Martin Dockery

Martin Dockery (Brooklyn, NY)

Rating: G-14 (Adult Language, themes)

Run Time: 60 minutes

Yellow Venue


Genre: Storytelling


Show Times:

Tue, May 21 2013, 9:00p.m. – 10:00p.m.

Thu, May 23 2013, 11:00p.m. – Fri, May 24 2013, 12:00a.m.

Sat, May 25 2013, 7:45p.m. – 8:45p.m.

Sun, May 26 2013, 1:15p.m. – 2:15p.m.


Read all our Fringe coverage HERE!


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  • Rob Del Medico

    Agreed – kind of like being in Hunter S. Thompson territory at times. In 60 minutes, he didn’t fumble or even stumble over any of the text, recited in perfect cadence. My body went limp during this – it was soothing and vivid and even despite the horrifying picture he was painting in the first sequence, my body felt strangely at ease. I loved that incongruity. My favorite piece thus far.