Sunday, November 15, 2015

Exiled Theatre Presents Plays by Pinter and Beckett - Through November 28th

For fans of the plays of Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett, the dual offerings currently being presented by Exiled Theatre may be just your cup of tea.  For their second season of productions, Exiled Theatre has chosen two plays by these Nobel laureates which are seldom performed.

"Ashes To Ashes" is a two person play set in what appears to be a comfortable living room.  James Wilkinson directs Stephen Cooper as Devlin and Angela Gunn as Rebecca.  Both are in their 40s and share an ambiguous relationship - spouse, ex-lover, therapist?  There are themes of duality throughout this one act play - two chairs, two characters, two world views in one room.  Rebecca seems to be grieving her awareness of the horrors of the Holocaust and conflating those horrors with her own tragedy of losing a child.  Devlin peppers her with questions that are often threatening, and acts out a dream that Rebecca had of him choking Rebecca.  It is an enigmatic little play that offers more questions than answers.

The second play is Samuel Beckett's minimalist "Footfalls."  May (Sarah Mass) paces up and down a small strip of flooring, carefully measuring her footfalls, and listening for them as a way of affirming her material existence.  She carries on conversations with the off-stage Voice (Mary Niederkorn) of her mother.  She covers the space in exactly nine paces of nine seconds each with metronomic and robotic precision.  May is ghostly and solipsistic in her isolation, carrying on a conversation with her even more ghostly ninety year-old mother who may or may not be real.  The pacing is divided into several sections, each punctuated by the tolling of a bell and the dimming of the light that barely illuminates the wraith-like May.  Themes of death and decay and regret swirl around May as she makes her endless journey back and forth.  Like Beckett's most famous work, "Waiting For Godot," in "Footfalls" not much happens by way of action except for a waiting that seems never to end.  This strange little morsel of a play provides more food for thought for the audience, and is directed by Teri Incampo.

Sarah Mass as May
"Footfalls" by Samuel Beckett
Exiled Theatre
Green Street Studios
Through November 28th

These play will run through November 28th.



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