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19 September, 2019

An awkward exercise in self-congratulation and rambling incoherence

Storytelling has made me a living – I love to create a narrative and ask others to embrace it and become immersed within it.

Bedtimes Stories was positioned as a live radio play, in a secret location.

I was excited at the thought of a dark smelly corner of a car park, where I would be taken on an ambling vocal journey to a new place, a new reality.

I was teased and tempted to enter a dreamscape.

Instead, what I got was a rambling, at times confused and incoherent, piece of self-expression.

This exhibition didn’t need a live audience.

I am a radio man, I love the connection of the medium to an individual and when I closed my eyes I could have been in the comfort of my lounge, listening to this collection of dark, Grimm-like fables, told in a variety of guises and characters.

Dutch actor Thomas Dudkiewicz attempts to guide us through a series of twisted tales, augmented by some clever audio wizardry, where we are encouraged to become a part of the story.

A rich soundscape, some fantastic technology and a playful stare set up what was to be a familial journey of storytelling.

But I wasn’t.

I was on an uncomfortable plastic chair in a secret location listening to a soundscape of self-congratulation.

Don’t get me wrong – Dudkiewicz is superbly talented but I was more interested in the lives going on in the apartment building across the way.

This could have been both powerful and engaging.

It was neither.

The hour-long show was a confused panoply of unsure characters, awkwardly lurching toward an end I was wishing had come sooner.

Its intention is clear, but in my experience, the execution is not.