Review | Madame Nightshade’s Poison Garden is bewildering

Madame Nightshade’s Poison Garden | The Blue Room | til Feb 24th | ★ ★ ★ 


If ever there was a show that epitomised the spirit of Fringe, this was it.

Madame Nightshade takes you on a journey of schizophrenic proportions. What that journey is exactly cannot be faithfully captured within the word limit for this review. All that can be said is that it was different to anything I’d ever seen and left me (and seemingly the rest of the audience) in a state of bewilderment.

Perhaps a useful reference point might be the following exchange from the Lewis Carroll classic:

Mad Hatter: “Have I gone mad?”

Alice: “I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

Show creator and performer, Anna Thomson, is to be lauded for bringing such a bizarre and grotesque production to the stage. Having said that, the show for me was not enjoyable.

The official Fringe synopsis describes the show as a “dark comedy”. There was definitely something unsettling about it all but very few funny moments, no matter how generous your sense of humour might be. Over-reliance on repetitive, slapstick comedy killed whatever political statement the show appeared to be making. The performance on this particular night wasn’t aided by malfunctioning sound equipment, leading to a period of cringe-inducing silence.

This is one of those shows that is completely open to interpretation. While you might not enjoy (or ‘get’) it, the person next to you might (for the record, they didn’t either). Overall, I would describe it as something which might appeal to a very niche market.

Madame Nightshade’s Poison Garden will be at the Blue Room until February 24th. Tickets and more information available from

Tracey Chung

Support OUTinPerth

Thanks for reading OUTinPerth. We can only create LGBTIQA+ focused media with your help.

If you can help support our work, please consider assisting us through a one-off contribution to our GoFundMe campaign, or a regular contribution through our Patreon appeal.

Become a Supporter→     Make a contribution→ 

Tags: , , ,