Note: This review is from the 2018 Fringe

In 2017 Sun Son Theatre brought Heart of Darkness to the Edinburgh Fringe. This year they have returned with a brand new show – Once Upon a Daydream. The performance ensembles a multitude of multimedia to bring a bright and joyful fantasy story to life. Physical theatre, projected animation and live music contribute to a magical fairytale about love, loneliness and longing.

LUI Wan Chun plays a young lady who uses her living space as an environment to dream in. The performer also created the hand drawn animation for the show and throughout Once Upon a Daydream she reacts and interacts with animated projections, whilst a duo of musicians provide an evocative soundtrack and foley sound effects. We are taken on a journey where a bird delivers a letter and the performer gets trapped in a gold fish bowl. It is a surreal daydream that attempts to grasp the attention of the audience with over the top movement and exaggerated physical theatre.

The programme for Once Upon a Daydream states that it is a “fairytale for adults”, however the whimsy and manner of the show might be more suited to a family or infant audience. The bold and extravagant performance sets a flamboyant tone, which feels like it wouldn’t be out of place on a kids television show. Once Upon a Daydream is very well choreographed, with the lead performer interacting with the projections and never missing a beat. Due to the tight and precise physical theatre that is on display the experimental nature of the show does not feel entirely spontaneous. There is a pragmatic and straight forward narrative that dilutes the potential impulsiveness of the performance.

Once Upon A Daydream is part of the Taiwan Season at Edinburgh Fringe. This programme bring the best of Taiwanese performance to Edinburgh, with four shows in total across Summerhall and Dance Base.