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Chasing Dragons

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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What becomes of us when the worlds of our own creation come tumbling down? Chasing Dragons, a fascinating new play written by Adam H. Wells, attempts to reconcile the material and the immaterial realms, raising questions of the strength of spiritual and personal belief in an unpredictable, imperfect world.

Wells has written a piece which revels in Cartesian logic, endlessly pitting the real world against the fantasy. True horror, it suggests, is not found in the darker pages of fantasy but in the hearts of men. Becky Catlin's quietly tortured descriptions of her experiences in Rwanda are chilling, deftly exposing the character and the reality of evil throughout civilization. Her performance is excellent, many faceted in its neurosis and worldly wise beyond her years.

As paranoid schizophrenic and "storyteller" Edward, Tom Walsh is intense and forceful, softly slipping between worlds of reality and fantasy and struggling to keep a firm grasp of either. His manner and behaviour are well-observed, sympathetically portraying the mental illness and recognising the power, or lack thereof, to slay the dragons which threaten us.

Despite some rather clumsy exposition and questionable medical evaluations in later scenes, Chasing Dragons builds into an excellent play which smoulders with pathos and fires with frustration.


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