CUPPERS: Icarus's Mother (Corpus)

Tue 6th November 2012

reviews

Lizhi Howard

at 00:28 on 8th Nov 2012

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Sam Shepherd’s one act play is about a group of people waiting for a firework display to begin. Whilst they are waiting they talk together, wonder down to a beach, and play mind games. Although each of the characters engages in these games the character of Howard is the most sinister of all. He carries the abuse of Pat too far, seriously upsetting her, and with Bill sends smoke signals, presumably to a nearby pilot. The end of the play comes when we are told by a curiously excited Jan that the plane has crashed into the sea. This play is well selected for Cuppers; it’s a good length and has some very interesting characters for the actors to explore. On the whole they pull off these roles, with moments of promise showing through.

The actress playing Pat deserved real commendation. A fault with a prop left her in real difficulty, but she picked herself up (literally) and carried on. Unfortunately her monologue was blocked with her back turned to the audience, so I didn’t feel that it was executed as well as it could have been. Although the positioning illustrated her upset and disturbance, all her facial, and some vocal expressions were lost, which was a real shame. Frank’s monologue in contrast was given the free range of the stage and was one of the highlights of the production. The actor coped very well, especially considering that he was being bombarded with sound and light effects fully exploring voice and facial expression to give a sense of both panic and wonder.

The technical side of the production was on the whole successful. There was one error with timing, but a lot of thought had clearly gone into the best way to create the fireworks show at the end.

This production was an ambitious one. The play depends heavily on the skills of the actors and the opening of the play didn’t quite manage to set off at a good place. However as the actors confidence grew they settled into their roles leading to some genuinely funny (Jan especially) and unsettling (Howard) moments. In all the production managed well under the conditions, but felt like it needed a few more rehearsals to get it looking polished and for some blocking issues to be ironed out.

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