You’re Not Alone – Kim Noble – Peacock Theatre – Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival
Have you ever tried Internet dating? One of the dangers is that people tend to lie. Some people alter their jobs or hobbies to make them sound more interesting. Some use out of date photos, before they went bald or put on four stone. Some use photos of other people. Kim Noble seems to have brought this to its natural conclusion. While Kim is also a woman’s name, on line he tends to go by the name of Sandra. He has formed a number of relationships with men under this alias. He’s also gone to the next level and met some of these men, filming the results. This is just one of the elements of Kim’s new work, which is a study of life, loneliness and isolation in a modern city.
The show is a mix of video and performance and if you do choose to go to this production, get there early. It’s unreserved seating, and choose a seat towards the back and at least four in from the edge of the row. A number of comedians pick on audience members, Dara Ó Briain does a fine line in character assassination, and many others have impressive put downs for hecklers or those that think they’re part of the act. For Kim, you just seem to enter his world. Those that left their seats in the theatre did it to be good sports, but it was more like sheep wandering to the slaughter house, without the ability to pull away from their fate. You couldn’t help but feel sorry for the young man that was pulled on stage to re-enact one of his internet dates.
Kim shows video of his father a number of times through the performance, and it is one of the more striking images. He is an old man in a nursing home and seems quite depressed and isolated. He also shows his relationship with those in his locality, his neighbours who he does not know who are only a couple of feet away.
While the show is very funny it is also quite disturbing. He has filmed many aspects of his life and many of the images are of a sexual nature. He has a fascination with taboo topics. There are also his attempts at home taxidermy and impersonating staff at garden centres and furniture stores. Each of these activities is treated in a dead pan manner and shared in a truthful and courageous style. He exposes himself utterly to the viewer and the results are quite shocking. It is one of the strongest pieces I’ve seen in the Festival in recent years.