Evil on the Fringe

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August 7, 2012 by Paula Reed Nancarrow

Review of Evil Dicks by Mumble Mumble Productions

Intermedia Arts


Few artists I know are as generous with their time and energy as Allison Broeren, so the comment from one reviewer on the Fringe web site that her show could benefit from a coach, director or mentor is ironic in the extreme. If she spent less time in these roles herself, she might be farther along with “Evil Dicks.” [Note: reviewers with fake names are surely the most Evil of Dicks.]  Attempting to elucidate the psychology of evil in 55 minutes is ambitious, and failure in one way or another is almost guaranteed, but where the show fails, it fails in interesting ways.

Allison is at her best with a somewhat fey, quirky delivery, and this is most effective with the female mass murderer she portrays in “Evil Dicks,” but I found the choice and range of subjects intriguing.  As an audience member, my problem was chiefly with the shifts in tone, from irony to pathos and back again. The multimedia elements were fun, and again, ambitious – fusing it all together takes stellar tech support. The night I was there, the music overlaid on top of interviews of other Fringe performers made it difficult to hear them clearly, and I wondered if this was intentional.  It isn’t often I go back to Paul Ricoeur’s The Symbolism of Evil to analyze a Fringe show. Kudos to Allison for taking on a topic so complex philosophers can make a living off it, and trying to make it accessible.

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