Double Feature: The Original English & Murderfuck

flyover productions · Ages 16+ · United States of America

world premiere
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Review by CJ HOKE

June 27, 2019 certified reviewer

What I liked

Thomas Dolan-Gavitt’s THE ORIGINAL ENGLISH is a funny and profound look at work in translation – a meditation on the responsibility of translators to their original work – and to the communities receiving it. I thoroughly enjoyed the overlapping dialogue in Italian and English, and think the Bergman monologue at the top is a beautiful meditation on our responsibility as creatives to our audiences and to each other.

Kudos to the whole cast for their tight, bilingual performances! Silvia Bottini shone in a variety of roles – her quick changes accentuated deft, distinct characterizations of different fans with different levels of English-speaking ability, and I believed every one of them. Steven Salisbury is credible as the disgruntled author, as is Francesco Capussela as the airheaded translator assigned to his side. One standout was Erika Nadir, striking as the translator – days later, I’m still thinking about her performance of that opening Bergman monologue, as well as her unrepentant defense of her translation.

Nate Myers’ MURDERFUCK is a wacky, stylized romp set in the imagined town of Bangstown, Screwsylvania – a full-on screwball comedy with inventive, heightened language, delivered impeccably and impressively by its small yet powerful cast. Myers plunges the audience instantly into a homicide investigation – but also into a deeper discussion about what how people must be to survive. Should a detective be “soft” like Nerea Duhart’s bubbly Jackie, or “hard” like Jenn An’s rough-and-tumble Babs? Trust the clues, or trust one’s gut to bring down whatever murder-cult has been fornicating people to death?

The answer isn’t cut-and-dry by the “rinky dinky docks,” and the detectives’ investigation spirals into a story of friendship, addiction, and a dangerous attempt to bring down the ringleader of this new murder-sport, the Big Bad Virginia Wolf – a lot to cram into a fifteen-minute production! The result is a physical and linguistic spectacle that must been seen – and heard – to be understood and believed, as the dramatic lighting and sound design (involving an intense, goofy, and fully operatic score featuring THE ORIGINAL ENGLISH’s Erika Nadir) add a full other dimension to the already absurd script. Overall, MURDERFUCK is a punchy, raunchy, and surprisingly hopeful piece, with precise and hilarious performances – definitely the kind of show that flourishes in a Fringe setting.

Overall, DOUBLE FEATURE is a walloping good time – and for $5, it’s more than worth the cost of admission. Don’t miss out!

What I didn't like


My overall impression

Writers Nate Myers and Thomas Dolan-Gavitt have put together a truly dark and hilarious half-hour of theater! It plumbs the depth of human experience and asks how we best serve our communities – recognizing that sometimes, that service comes in roundabout ways, and sometimes, at the sacrifice of our own ideals.

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