The Creeps

solo performance · schapf · Ages 16+ · New Zealand

one person show world premiere
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June 18, 2014 original article

My overall impression

Originally posted in Bitter Lemons: “Fringe Femmes” | “The Creeps” created by Catherine Waller |

Who can resist a Fringe show with free-flowing wine and bottomless popcorn? Just overlook the fact that the hunched over woman who’s offering it appears as if she’s… well: she’s likely had a hard life, even at her young age.

This is the first indication that The Creeps is maybe not what you expect. Or, given the title, maybe it is.

What it is, is a fascinating and completely compelling study of four lost, pretty darn creepy souls brought to life by solo performer/writer Catherine Waller. (Who is not the woman shilling the booze and snacks… or is she?)

But study isn’t the right word, because Waller’s highly physicalized characters each make demands on the audience. We’re seduced into becoming part of the experience, whether it’s by direct interaction – we’re encouraged to talk during the performance, to each other and to the characters onstage – or by witnessing a scene that’s so emotionally naked it catches us off guard, and feel ourselves leaning forward and maybe even reaching out.

Waller created this affecting, arresting new performance piece under the guidance of Bryan Brown and Olya Petrokova; music by Joe Ceglir sets the dark, bare stage beautifully and underscores the action seamlessly.

No, this is not a completely comfortable 45 minutes in the theater. But like life, it’s not meant to be.

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