Duality is never more potent in this riveting piece written by Ray Bradbury, in 1949 as a response to Americans burning of comic books to “save” young minds and interpreted for stage by cult horror actor Bill Oberst Jr.
It is the year 2349 and the Earth has been cleansed of both morbidity and corpses. Halloween is history. Authors like Poe and Lovecraft have been obliterated by a Great Burning. When the government decides to destroy a remaining ancient graveyard that has been kept around as a sort of money-making amusement park feature, 400 years dead William Lantry wakes up with an all-consuming hatred and embarks on a mission to bring back fear to this now sterile world he finds himself in.
Of any horror piece that one could experience, Pilar of Fire could quite possibly hold one of the more chilling futuristic outcomes for the human race.
Waking up to a sort of idealistic singularity where all sense of individuality, passion and imagination has been wiped out and replaced by a deathly glug of life just plugging along without desire or the need to fulfill is starkly frightening for Lantry as it is for us. We realize that the human world as we know it – ourselves – as human beings must essentially live in duality. For existing in a world where there is only light is just as terrifying as one submerged in utter darkness.
Of any show at Fringe I’ve personally experienced this year, Pilar of Fire is straight up, extraordinary in every detail. It is directed and performed with deft skill by Mr. Oberst who’s storytelling is so mouth-watering, that it will send psychological chills up your spine and without even a hint of gore. A superior performance bar none.
Very highly recommended