Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2003
In this innovative comedy, a failing writer finds re-writing his collapsing life as a heroic triumph an imaginative leap too far. Over the course of an evening, both fact and fiction disintegrate with strange and hilarious results.
Haze is a dual-narrative farce, spoofing both thrillers and sitcoms.
George, our hapless protagonist, is writing an action-adventure in which a leather-clad hero called Haze fights his town's forces of evil.
Hence we flit from George's real life (where his writers' block means his girlfriend leaves him for his publisher) into George's daydreams of Haze (where he lives out his fantasies of being strong, dominant and irresistibly attractive to women).
It's a good idea, but we never learn enough about George to find his reactions to situations funny. He seems caught up in a chain of events beyond his control, most of which are mildly entertaining but ultimately pointless, while he is surrounded by the most annoying friends and colleagues imaginable.
Haze on the other hand has no personality beyond a smug vacant glaze and monotone voice, which, though an accurate parody of your average film hero, is little fun to watch.
The humour is a mix of slapstick pratfalls, the face of hiding corpses, and the parody of clichés and deliberately bad acting. But the references are a bit muddled and confusing, and the audience is never sure whether they are meant to be rooting for George or laughing at him.
Either way, there aren't enough funny moments in the 'sitcom' section, and hardly any in the 'thriller'.
In the end, George kills his creation, presumably through apathy, and you tend to think it's for the best.