Fringe Review: I Think I’m Dead

I have known Al Lafrance for many years. We originally met when he worked at CJLO, and hosted the radio show Edge of the City right after Ears Wide Shut with myself and Joshua Nemeroff. I have followed Al’s career because he has always been funny and strange and open, both in mind and in practice, and is a generally entertaining person to be around. I have always thought highly of him, but after seeing I Think I’m Dead, I think Al Lafrance might actually be brilliant. 

I Think I’m Dead was an honest account of Al’s extended episode of insomnia and continuous battles with depression, peppered throughout with various other stories from his youth. He was charming and funny and an absolutely fabulous story-teller, and despite the heavy topics, he kept the atmosphere light and positive without being self-deprecating. He told stories from his past with the open acknowledgement that he made mistakes, but delivered these personal epiphanies with the confidence that such mistakes were not going to be repeated. That self-awareness is what made the truly terrifying parts of his past bearable. 

His method of story-telling was fascinating. He spoke extremely quickly, and would abruptly switch topics and go on tangents, but there was always a kind of logical flow to what he was saying or where he was going. It wasn’t like being on a roller coaster because there you can see the tracks. It was more like being in a field, sitting in a box attached to a rope, and your brother is running around, dragging you with him. You are being pulled all around the field, there are sudden turns in every direction and you have no idea where you are going next, but you know that you are always in kind hands and that the person taking you on this journey isn’t going to hurt you. 

I Think I’m Dead is an incredibly creative, outrageous tale of one man’s excursion into insanity. It is an absorbing, immersive story that begs questions of reality and welcomes an existential crisis with open arms. It is a story of hope and of recovery. It is worth going to see.