Intoxication is a bit of a misleading title, it has to be said. The word implies seduction, persusasion—something soft or indulgent to fall into. Intoxication is not that. It is hard-hitting, and decidedly so—there is no room to hide in this one-man autobiography, as writer Christopher Bryant takes his audience through his personal story that began at a devastating car accident that nearly left him without the ability to write.
Bryant, in telling his story, doesn’t hold back by any means, giving his words energy and dedication throughout. His story, of rehabilitation and loneliness in a tech-driven age, isn’t exactly unique, but his style of presentation is. At several points he gets up and sits in the audience, addressing his subjects closely, so closely that he nearly spits in their face (and during one vehement moment someone in the front row definitely did cop a bit of free-flying spittle). Coupled with harsh lighting that keeps the entire room illuminated, this no-holds-barred approach in audience/artist separation is mostly effective, meaning no one can hide away from what is being said.
Bryant’s observations on intimacy and queer culture in our modern age are incisive, but not particularly revelatory. It’s doubtful whether anyone outside of a queer-white-male bracket will find what’s being said resonating with them. This is probably the point though—Bryant’s viewpoint is exclusively his own, and it should be said that his consistent delivery and performance is compelling viewing.
Intoxication is a daring experiment in audience unease, told with poise and care.
Reviewed by CJ McLean
2.5 stars out of 5
Venue: Rajopolis, Raj House
Season: Now until March 4th
Duration: 45 mins