Thursday, October 22, 2009

It’s not that it wasn’t interesting…

Performance: 4.48 Psychosis
Theater: Factory 449, 1021 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Metro stops: Mount Vernon Sq or Chinatown
Genre: Drama (with a capital "D")
Cost: $20 (sorry no special deals, but $20 isn't bad)
Dates: Through Oct. 25
Rating: 2.5/5 Starving artists

I've been putting off telling you my thoughts on this show for a couple of weeks, and I know this doesn't do you any good, so I apologize. The problem is this: I know what to say when I love or hate a performance. It's the ones in the middle that are the issue. How do I tell you about a show to which I was indifferent? Though, perhaps, that's all you need to know.

This production has been getting rave reviews, so you don't have to take my word for it, but it didn't do much for me. I thought it was a fascinating take on the inner workings of a suicidal mind, and I might have loved to read it in a book, but it didn't captivate me on stage. The production was strong. A cast of 10 people stood on chairs and portrayed the various voices in the playwright's mind. Knowing that this was the last play that British playwright Sarah Kane wrote before she died made it all the more intense. The writing felt like free form poetry, streaming consciousness without much need for lucidity or sense-making. And all that's cool, but after a few minutes, I felt like I got it, and my understanding didn't grow as the show went on.

The show is well staged and well preformed by all, and I commend Factory 449 for tackling this difficult piece. I get why this did well at fringe this year. It is very… fringy, and that is not always a bad thing. But outside of that context, it just didn't do much for me.

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