Phantomysteria

They have me before the show even starts. The college quad is imposing, backlit through the drizzle, while isolation-suited actors shovel ash into the courtyard ahead of us. Someone runs past with a smoke machine; suddenly, it's so dense that I can't see anything at all. The tape between us and the actors is cut. There are no boundaries now.

A man runs out, silent but flailing, covered in flames.

Flames? Must be a special effect. It takes me a second to realise that, in theatre, there's no such thing.The crazy bastards have set him on fire.

There's plenty more. Drawing my attention throughout the show is the bright orange object on the left-hand side: Chekov would agree that a loaded propane cylinder in act one ought be fired by act three. It is.

They get crazier, but in the sense of "illogical and confusing" rather than of "reckless endangerment". Like a cryptographer struggling with gibberish, I try to extract meaning where I suspect none is present. Afterwards, Lyn asks me what the show was about. I don't know either, but with a set like that, I don't care.

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