Set on a chaotic, work-in-progress set somewhere, Amy Tofte’s Flesh Eating Tiger is a borderline absurdist, play within a play, bad romance, that gives us clever glimpses into a world of problematic addictions and co-dependency.
I felt the play started out on a slower note, performance and story wise. Trying to figure out the setting proved to be distracting, and absorbed most of my attention in the beginning. Once the play within the play idea was established, and the performances dropped in (which they did beautifully) I felt free to lose myself in the story and entertain the themes it dealt with. Amy, who is also the writer and director, implemented herself as a cast member by sitting on stage in the corner, staying on book and calling out lines as she probably would on any given rehearsal. A bold move that worked. I found it to be both interesting and effective.
I believe the writing was strong when it knew where it was going, with the bits on alcoholism standing out as being particularly clever and well written. Great commitment from the actors in two performances that definitely build as the play progress, they had to shift gears on a dime to embody their characters addictions, which is by no means easy to do. Also, there were some great glimpses of real truth in a couple of their monologues.
Overall, I think it’s a solid show on the Fierce Backbone slate. Give it a shot if you want to see something different.
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