Looking for Paradise review: The fringiest thing on the Fringe

Dublin Fringe Festival: This treasure hunt through the heart of the city dares to alter your perception of reality

Looking for Paradise: a metaphysical treasure hunt. Photograph: Clément Martin

Looking for Paradise: a metaphysical treasure hunt. Photograph: Clément Martin

 

LOOKING FOR PARADISE

Starting at Barnardo’s Square, Dame Street
★★★★★
Opening the gates of perception as wide as the hinges allow, you don a Hawaiian lai, drink a cup of what you really hope is lemonade, and sign your consent to undergo mass hypnosis. The earliest steps of this metaphysical treasure hunt from French mavericks Les 3 Points de Suspension are probably its most conventional. Because then things get wild.

Here, paradise is envisaged as the kitsch tropicalia of an Elvis movie, and our path there guided with pleasantly mystifying cod psychology. Perhaps hypnosis started early. The adventure certainly teases at the contours of reality, creating a trail of ever more uncanny, hilarious surprises. Commands come from an ebullient stuffed fox. Bin bags transform into prophets. A decapitated duck leads us away from mortal desire. Most descriptions will sound like field reports from Wonderland, or a journal composed under the influence of potent hallucinogenics. If the ludic imagination of this quick-changing team is blissful, the show’s execution is phenomenal, allowing for freewheeling play within a taut structure. Perhaps paradise remains elusive, but this show, the fringiest thing on the Fringe, is a little piece of heaven on earth.