Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind

Mon 8th – Sat 13th August 2011


Rebecca Tatlow

at 07:38 on 11th Aug 2011



The premise of 'Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind' is that it is a collage of thirty short pieces performed over the course of an hour in a random order chosen by the audience. To that end, the set consists of a washing line upon which the forty options are hung and a laptop with a timer counting down the hour. The concept itself is interesting and could easily be, I feel, used for a comedy sketch show. Perhaps that was the intent here in Edinburgh; unfortunately the show was woefully far from comic or even relevant as it became apparent that there was neither rhyme nor reason to the collection or 'menu' on offer.

This collection was varied in content if not in competence; the acting was universally bad. '#1: Don't Play With Your Utensils' consisted of someone balancing a spoon on their nose and humming Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance'. '#10: The Deja Variations' was a repeat of the preceding piece but with high voices; I may be mistaken but simply making something higher hardly counts as a variation. These may have been far from theatre gold but they far exceeded '#35: Fate Dates the Weatherman' which saw the two actresses interrupting one another continually. Others, such as '#2: Danger Can- the musical' were just badly staged and invisible to all but the front row.

When the fateful countdown reached the conclusion... nothing happened! No bells, no lights, just a continuation as before. By the end the timer had become a fixation and, when '#37: What are we doing here?' failed to adequately answer the question on everyone's lips, hope of a last minute recovery dwindled- the cast weren't even able to take their curtain call in an orderly manner.


Joe Nicholson

at 07:39 on 11th Aug 2011



Windham High School’s production of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind seemed like an interesting proposal: 30 plays in 60 minutes. The idea clearly had the potential to be very entertaining, taken from the Neo-Futurists theatre group based in Chicago, but was in practice a sham of a performance- unprofessional, boring and erratic.

The core concept of the play was the decision to have forty numbered cards hanging above the actors, on each of which had the title of a short play written on the reverse: members of the audience were requested to select the next play by picking a number at random. Depressingly, it became apparent that none of the titles on any of the cards were appealing. It remained unclear whether the short play titles were taken from the Neo-Futurists or if they were instead all conceived by Windham High School, but some truly ridiculous sketches were offered, such as “I remember the leg” and “I’m a potato”, proving desperately uncomfortable viewing. I struggled to pick out a binding theme between these individual sketches, and whatever statement this may have been trying to make, it did not excuse the utter ludicrousness of many pieces.

Certain actors did, however, show promise, which did alleviate some of the suffering induced by the most painful of sketches, especially those involved in the “Bad Haiku” and “The Men’s Movement”. Others exhibited almost no knowledge of how to handle themselves on stage, which increased the lamentable quality of the bad school production, a clear fault of direction rather than the individuals themselves. One girl declared in a brash tone that she “never gets a number”, as the actors themselves pick up the card selected by the audience: an unforgivably amateurish line which summarises the entire production. The worst sketch was potentially the company’s rendering of A Midsummer Night’s Dream: although there was potentially humour in their summary, it added to the confusion in the tone of the play. When an albeit fairly talented actress declared that “if this sucked, then you’re dreaming”, the irony was unbearable: a feeling with recurred when the sketches “what are we doing here?” and “the art of acting” were selected.

Overall, an unprofessional and unentertaining production, which in fact played out 40 sketches in eighty minutes. Some actors showed potential, and many performed well with good delivery on stage: the production was marred by others who were highly amateurish, and the appalling script. It is, however, light hearted, and did receive some laughter from the audience, despite at the most slapstick of moments.


Audience Avg.

0 votes, 0 comments

Click here for more event information

cast involved

other events on

Version 0.3.7a