Saturday, April 24, 2010

Arkle's A Mad Man Sings to the Moon last night at the Hill Street Theatre handily batched three of my dear (though they may not know it) friends into one show. And what a show it was.

Dear Nick was presumably the titular mad man. (Though I'm not convinced that I'm correctly using titular there.) Disconcertingly comfortable with the gun, he was most poignant in his empty-hearted monologue about how little his life had given him.

Dear Karen was cute. Especially so when she donned the bunny costume and re-created its squishy death. But she got a nice little heartfelt piece about needing to take the chances flung at you because when would they be flung again which she delivered very beautifully.

Mrs Posh - not one of my dear friends but I'm sure she's a very nice lady - was suitably disdainful. I very much approved of her anxiety when the toilet situation arose.

And dear Ian was just dear Ian. Doing Ian being an intellectual which I always love to see. Eerily similar to whatever he was in our Arcadia a few years back. But none the poorer for it. And he in fact, dear Ian, went on to save the day. Or at least the lives of the three others trapped in the cafe.

The play puzzled me. I can see the point of it, I think. The clever conceit. The fact that the Mad Man was driven to hold up a cafe because nobody talks to each other any more. And in fact, see how really, he saved them all as they were able to reconnect with what was really important to each of them. Kind of.

Except for me, that was where it flopped a little I think. Yes, Posh Lady realised she should get her kids back. But did arrogant and focused PR Man have any kind of revelation at all? Did the 'hilarious' wind up of his politician client and exposure of his vile sleaze actually change anyone's minds about anything? Bunny Girl escaped in the end to seize her chance at stardom but she'd been planning to do that anyway. The Man Who Stared at the Stars - well, you found out little about him apart from the fact that he Stared at the Stars. And spoke calmly to the Mad Man. So hard to see how he benefitted. And the Mad Man. Well, I think anyone that's stupid enough to take 15 dogs home from a rescue home to live humble-jumbled into one small house together deserves everything that's coming to them.

I'm not entirely sure what a character arc is - but I think I know - and for me, in essence, the arcs were neither convincing nor satisfying. So as a play, it left me vaguely dissatisfied.

Please, dear friends (and posh lady and Michael M and Mr Director), if you happen to be reading this, don't be offended as I thought your production was very good. But what a peculiar choice of play. That's all.


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