You’re Not Alone review: An obsessive and uncomfortably riveting show| Tiger Dublin Fringe

Flights of absurd fancy, driven by lonely despair

Venue: Peacock Theatre

Date Reviewed: September 16th, 2015

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Thu, Sep 17, 2015, 18:03

   

You’re Not Alone
Peacock Theatre, Dublin
****

Kim Noble, the performer, comedian and art terrorist, calls them “projects”: flights of absurd fancy, driven by lonely despair. Others may consider them arrestable offences. Crude actions, meticulously documented and artfully presented, they provide the material for this obsessive and uncomfortably riveting show; from a faux-naïve Noble’s amateur taxidermy on a dead pigeon or his infiltration of B&Q (where he “works” undiscovered for months), to the reckless catfishing of online sex pests and the obsessive stalking of a supermarket checkout operator.

Stranger (and less ethical) things have been done in performance art, but few with the uneasy complicity generated by Noble’s gauche humour, alternately compelling and scandalising. His intrusions are difficult to justify – no image, however personal or obscene, is beyond limits – yet it’s hard to look away. That’s partly because his methods are unsettlingly familiar – often just a smartphone, Photoshop or artfully reconstructed chicken breast – and symptomatic of a culture of urban anomie, blanket surveillance and alarmingly lax privacy settings. Like or loathe it, from deepest concern to final optimistic flourish, we’re all in it together.