Amanda The Barbarian

ensemble theatre franger brothers · Ages 13+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by anonymous

June 17, 2018 certified reviewer

What I liked

Kristin, Scott, Richard and Frankie did a fantastic job! The characters of Amanda and Scott felt real – multi-dimensional and raw. I loved that Amanda was unapologetically herself – a little weird, a LOT obnoxious, selfish, loveable, and also….hateable. I liked wondering whether Amanda was truly being herself off-stage, or if she was just going “method.” She’s so extreme in every way. I think Amanda craves the spotlight, the stardom, the stage SO much, she is actually anything BUT herself most of the time. She makes a character of herself in the hopes that she is at the very least MEMORABLE and a star in her own reality. Whether she’s truly as cruel and spontaneous as she makes herself out to be is the real mystery! The scenes with the ex-girlfriend had me thinking this. She did seem sweet and loving. Did the ex-girlfriend make her calloused and carefree to a fault? Or does she want to be the girl that got away because it’s memorable? OVerall, a very thought-provoking concept and great dialogue about relationships, especially the resentment stage.

What I didn't like

I think the play within a play concept was cool, but I’ll have to admit that I was confused at times. There were a couple of scenes that seemed like they were in the play but I just couldn’t tell. Also, I wish I could learn more about Scott and Amanda’s backstories. You catch a glimpse of Scott’s – very traumatic – but I imagine Amanda must have her reasons, past “triggers” for being so, well, barbaric? I feel like the play is good where it stands, but with a little expansion and maybe some restructuring, could really be something special!

My overall impression

Amanda the Barbarian is a wonderful, funny, and thought-provoking play about a deeply complicated woman and her even more complicated relationships with men (esp. her co-star in the play-within-a-play “Jack”), women, and the world of theatre.

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