Dublin Fringe Festival: Bunk

Paperdoll's Bunk as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

Paperdoll's Bunk as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2013

Sleep. People never tire of discussing it, and individual experiences of it vary drastically, running the gamut from an eagerly-anticipated space of escape to a dreaded tussle with an intractable sandman.
Paperdolls newest work Bunk veers into the realm of the nightmarish with an aerial performance that takes phenomena such as sleep paralysis and sleepwalking as themes to work from.
Couched in an oversized four-poster bed that is a sinister conglomeration of tattered mattress innards, springs and foam spilling out, the company’s three intrepid performers (Emily Aoibheann, Elaine McCague and Karen Anderson), scale and swing from the bedframe and attached ropes like succubi to a thrumming, unsettling score.

Emily Aoibheann provides a particularly deft turn on the rope with an elegant and tightly controlled performance displaying strength and skill. In keeping with Paperdolls’ earlier work, elements of risk and danger are foregrounded, and not without irony (at one point, the three performers run circles around the bed clutching scissors), the tone throughout remaining macabre.
Bunk certainly contains the elements for a great show – accomplished aerial performers, an inventive and fantastical set, eerie sound design and a meaty theme to work with.
However, the piece is hampered by several extended spaces that are curiously empty of activity where costumes are changed or stage equipment is adjusted, causing momentum to flag and puncturing atmosphere. As a result, Bunk tends to the meandering, losing traction and focus as it progresses.

Star rating: ★★★

  • Review
  • Theatre

Dublin Fringe Festival: Bunk by Paperdolls Performance Company

8-14 September, 2013

Produced by Paperdolls Performance Company
In Project Arts Centre

 Commissioned by Dublin Fringe Festival and Project Arts Centre through the Spirit of the Fringe Award in 2012 and in collaboration with Spraoi International Street Festival fund, Spraoi Create.