The Hideout, by Calgary playwright Andrew Torry, turned out to be an unexpected highlight of my Fringe experience this year. I say "unexpected," because the word "zombies" appeared in the play's description, and if there is one thing I am not into, it is the whole zombie thing. As it turns out, however, I loved this show, because the zombies are more metaphorical devices than anything else, representing the torture a teenage Lee (Brett Dahl) has to undergo courtesy of his abusive mother and callous friend.
Dahl gives a very committed and believable performance that kept me engaged for the entire 60 minutes of the show. I cared about Lee — thanks to the acting and the well-written script — and I felt his pain. The Hideout is an excellent and sympathetic portrayal of the challenges some unfortunate teens go through, which drive them to act as delinquents, writing racial slurs on bathroom stalls and skipping school. The show raises pertinent issues about troubled youth and how they need caring, compassion and attention, not anger.
A thoughtful play that, for me, anyway, caused a lump in my throat and an anger at injustice in my heart.