If Water Were Present, It Would Be Called Drowning

theatre · john sinner's theatre revelation · Ages 16+ · United States

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June 26, 2012 certified reviewer

My overall impression

I can’t help but find the negative review of June 23rd by “Anonymous” somewhat specious as I attended that day’s show and can assure you that no one walked out of the theatre nor was there any gratuitous nudity as implied. Critical reviews left anonymously are the equivalent of a hit and run and I question the validity of such cowardly actions by envious haters. (and no, I did not work on nor was I involved in the production of this play in any way.)

That said, this play was a fast paced and smartly written piece backed by a clever voice-over and video installation which gave this work the feel of true multimedia. Betsy Moore delivered a masterly performance as Lolly, (not an easy task given the abundance of John Sinner’s intricate and complex words) a woman existing in (or should I say enduring) a loveless and routine family life who longs for some form of escape. A seemingly static video image of a clean and orderly kitchen stove behind her slowly deteriorates as Lolly, (sometimes hysterically, sometimes tenderly) reveals her fears, fantasies, memories and exploits while she physically deconstructs the orderly set, as well as her Hausfrau attire, in an attempt to shed herself from that which binds her to this metaphorical prison. All the while, a corpse like, zombie of a husband (played with almost a marionette like quality by Paul Tucci) sits idly nearby or mechanically crosses the stage occasionally exclaiming angrily “I hear you!” through voice-over, yet showing no indication that this statement is in any way true. Near the end, the video changes to an ethereal view of rolling clouds as Lolly, now quite vulnerable and unveiled, speaks of hopes, dreams and longings, offering the viewer the feeling that no prison is without a door, a key or a means of escape, even if it is purely psychological.

Personally, I found this play quite touching and could relate to this idea of feeling trapped in one’s existence. Many of us dream of changing our lives, moving away or starting over, but so often find that we do not take action; in a way almost implying that we are all, in essence, exactly where we choose to be. A profound accomplishment.

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