After a run in Amsterdam, Pufferfish makes its way to London’s Vault Festival. But this strange new show doesn’t quite seem to know what it’s trying to say.
Pufferfish tells a story of the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, exploring his twisted mind and crazed motivations, taking the audience through the relationships – almost love affairs – he has with his victims and, inexplicably, the relationship one of the young men has with his sister. The piece jumps around a lot between different narrative threads and ideas but it’s unclear what story it’s really trying to tell.
The play does mix genres in quite a nice way, being part horror, part comedy and part romance; it feels like a natural blend as each element works together to create an on-edge atmosphere. Complementing this genre clash are the striking marble mannequins that hang all over the set. These provide an intriguing look for the show and draw the audience into Dahmer’s obsession with the male body.
But while there are a number of interesting elements, the play as a whole feels a bit pointless. There seems to be no clear reason for it; it’s not engaging enough to be a piece of pure entertainment and not deep or even coherent enough to be anything other than just a strange experiment with the character of Jeffrey Dahmer.
The show is well cast. Jackson Milner plays a terrific Dahmer. He comes across as charmingly sadistic, almost enough to make the audience want to go home with him, even knowing who he is. Arian Nik and Asha Reid are also great and certainly do well to make the material at least a little engaging.
Many of the individual parts of this show work but as an overall narrative Pufferfish just feels confused. Some may find something of value here, but for others it is not a play that they will enjoy.
Pufferfish is at the Cage from 6th until 10th March 2019. For further information or to book visit the show’s festival page here.
Read more reviews from our Vault Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Vault Festival website here.
Watch the trailer for Pufferfish here: