Saw an interesting play last night called The Pillowman. It was quite dark. In fact it was downright gruesome. I’m quite sick of this particular playwright, DCTC has now done 4 of his plays and each one is an exploration of the dark parts of peoples’ spirits. I can only hope that they will run out of shows to do by this guy. It isn’t that the plays are bad, they are in fact, quite good. Well written, artfully put together, but in they are so inherently evil that I just can’t stand to spend a lot of time in their presence. The guy who played Hamlet was in the play – I enjoyed him tremendously in Hamlet. Here, he was good but possibly forgettable. The guy who played the bad cop was dismal, just couldn’t wear the part at all and came across as completely unconvincing. I don’t think that anger is his thing really. He doesn’t do it well. He’s done other things quite well, this wasn’t it. The star of the show, hands down, was the good cop. His timing was excellent, his caprice was convincing, and he physically matched the role. Well done. Also, the part of the brother was done well. This is an actor I’ve seen often in recent years and he is typically good. Not an unforgettable performance but a good performance. The makeup was ridiculous, I’ve seen high school productions that looked better. The set was good, everyone liked the hydraulics, I thought they were unnecessary, kind of like the designer had bought them and thought to himself, oh I have to use these somewhere this season. So apparently, an evil play gets an equally evil review from me. In the writing we get to see the dark underbelly of a twisted mind. This feels like a writer who was mercilessly teased in childhood, possibly beaten and psychologically tortured by someone. He plays it out in his writing over and over. He even pokes fun at the fact that he does it. This is one of those times that I’m glad to not be in the theatre because I would hate to have to work on this particular piece.
On a happier note I read a great book this week called Between, Georgia. It was really quite wonderful, lots of characters in the story, a small town with plenty of personality. In short a wonderful setting and a good solid story with peril, twists, personal angst, and a little romance too. Quite good.