I would be quick to caution the more conservative Los Angeles theatre crowd about this show, but Sarah Doyle's Anaconda, while almost too minimalist and under staged, is smart, edgy, and well crafted. The show takes it's audience on an unexpected journey through the world of a Defense Attorney , who's life comes crashing down after he's asked to take on a case connected to his dark past. It's slow to start, but certainly picks up when it needs to. With stand-out performances from it's supporting cast of Jordan Ballard and Jeremy Glazer, and a gripping, emotional final scene courtesy of power house Jonathan Roumie, patrons have something that they can certainly look forward to, in addition to a tight, intriguing script.
Anaconda by Sarah Doyle.
Review by Pauline Adamek.
***This review first appeared on www.ArtsBeatLA.com ***
Following last year’s presentation at the Fringe, Feeling Feeling, writer/director Sarah Doyle ventures into far darker territory with Anaconda. Hers is a controversial play based on a sordid abuse and bullying scandal that erupted at an Australian private high school – Sydney’s Trinity Grammar – as recently as 2000. Doyle has relocated the action to New York for the Fringe (wobbly US accent from our lead notwithstanding), but apparently plans to revert back to the story’s Sydney origins for its Australian season next year.
Running a taut one hour and 10 minutes, this is a hard-hitting drama complemented by powerful perfor...
certified reviewerJune 17, 2012
Anaconda was a wonderfully intense experience. Powerful performances, a FANTASTIC cast and great script. My worry going in was that it woukd draw too heavily on the drama of the traumatizing event and not on the personal stories of the characters involved (I guess I've had too much Hollywood blockbuster junk filling my brain lately). This was not the case at all. I was completely engrossed in each character's story; their all-too-human struggles were conveyed with a very refreshing honesty and clarity. My only complaint is that I would have really loved more stage time for Becker and Tove so we could delve more into how they were affected by past incidents. But everyone was fantastic....
I strongly recommend taking the time to see this show. It is rare to see something this well written, directed and preformed on the theatre circuit of LA. I felt like I was back in NYC sitting in one of its many amazing black box theaters watching a new gritty play being preformed Off-Off Broadway and having that feeling that next time I saw the play it would be at the Booth or Al Hirschfeld Theatre with a ticket price that would dent the wallet.
The subject matter is quite poignant and current, Sarah Doyle has based the play on true events and taken it to a new thought provoking level. At some point accents went a little a stray but the characters did not. The actors brought dignity and realism to the characters that raised strong feelin...
certified reviewerJune 18, 2012
Anaconda for me was such an intense rollercoaster ride inside each characters' feelings and emotions. I came in watching this play with an open mind, not knowing exactly what to expect and I must say, it hit me. Bullying, in all its different forms, is such a tough and contemporary theme. Some might find it disturbing but I am glad it was brought on stage.
Congrats to the entire cast: you are all brilliant and were able to really showcase the human, emotional side of your characters and bring the audience in with your struggles and choices.
I would definetely recommend this play not just to adults but also teenagers. The message within is so powerful that it is going to stay with you longer than the 55 minutes of the actual play....
Tight ensemble cast, consistently connected performance from Jordan Ballard, Jonathan Roumie- possesses a great physical presence, Martin Dingle Wall's is perfectly honed, and Jeremy Glazer's truth is incandescent and utterly compelling to watch. Sarah Doyle's piece is harrowing, powerful but relentlessly truthful. Kudos All....
I met Sarah Doyle at the Note as I was leaving OohLaLa, and was impressed with her. She told me about the show, and I told her that I would do my best to attend. Not knowing what to expect, I can only say that this show is totally worth the effort to attend.
Weaving a compelling story from scandal is nothing new, but it is Sarah's treatment of the story that sets her apart.
Based on an incident in New South Wales, Australia involving a group of high school boys raping another classmate, Sarah weaves a story that shows what happens to both victim and witness, and the need to get rid of an all-encompassing guilt about the incident.
All four actors are superb in their own way - the victim turned vigilante who stabs one of his attacke...
Bravo to the entire cast, as well as to the playwright. In her one-act drama: Anaconda, Sarah Doyle iss able to create authentic characters, which were richly brought to life by the four-person ensemble.
Based on a true Australian account, Ms. Doyle captures the essences of the tormented victim, Jonathan Roumie; the conflicted conscience of the not-so-innocent bystander turned lawyer, Martin Dingle Wall; the popular high school beauty turned real estate agent, wife, Jordan Ballard; and the "hold-the-mirror-in-your-face," forgiving high school friend, Jeremy Glazer.
The play opens with murderer Phil Becker (Roumie) in his prison cell, a disturbed individual with controlled rage. Matty Buttiker (Wall) enters to offer his legal service...
Came back for a second time, and brought my wife with me - she was floored by the powerful portrayals of all four actors and by the brilliant playwriting of Sarah Doyle. Tomorrow is the last chance to catch one of the BEST shows from Fringe 2012 - don't miss your opportunity to be moved by an amazing piece of theater - two enthusiastic thumbs up!...
certified reviewerJune 22, 2012
I had a wonderful time at this play - it was simple and understated, letting the drama play out rather than shocking the audience with anything grotesque and uncomfortable on-stage. Most of the obscene material was alluded to, and instead you get to see the characters reacting to the situation in a very exposed way. I wish there were more plays like this in Los Angeles....