Fringe Festival Review

The tangential nature of ‘Hostil Watching’ led to an unfulfilling show

Photo from the show’s profile on Fringe Festival’s site.

As a meditation on systems and dimensions, “Hostil Watching” was as confusing as it was perplexing. At HUGE Improv’s intimate theater, two actors worked to tell the story of a troubled couple stuck within an even more troubling surveillance system. The boyfriend, particularly consumed in his rather esoteric thoughts, thinks he is being watched. The girlfriend is clearly out of patience for his antics.

In an hour, the plot only seemed to thicken ever-so-slightly. The play lacked the intimacy it so needed to foster. The relationship portrayed on stage was vulnerable, and yet the performance felt stiff. Even the forcefulness of a five-minute scene of the boyfriend dancing in his boxers and slapping his belly until his skin turned bright red created more discomfort than it did rapport.

The plot’s drug-drama antics were unfulfilling, and music from a portable speaker operated on-stage created awkward pauses and an onstage stillness that set in and couldn’t be shaken off.