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Darker (Review)

By Harper Lee · June 4th, 2011 · Fringe
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New Edgecliff Theatre’s contribution to the 2011 Fringe Festival, Catie O’Keefe’s Darker, has an enticing ambiance (at Know Theatre). The sparse set features a number of bare light bulbs that at times are blindingly bright and at others pulsing or dim. The effect is garish and mesmerizing, appropriate for a play with themes like anger, unrequited love and lost memory.

Max, carefully brought to life by Michael Carr, arrives in the drab and poorly lit office building of a light bulb manufacturer to start a new job he did not apply for.

He is quickly given a desk by his bewitching boss Lucy, played by a very sultry Mindy Heithaus. Max immediately feels as though he’s missing something, that he’s been here before — he wonders if he’s “déj�-vuing.” Lucy and their third office mate, Tom (Jeffrey C. Miller), whose desk Max usurps, are hiding something.

All three actors are capable and watchable. And they are well-cast, appearing comfortable in their roles and clear on their wants. But the script seems to limit each of them to just one or two notes emotionally. Max is confused as he struggles to resurrect his memory. Tom is nervous and a little desperate, dropping cryptic hints about Max’s past, and Lucy sheds her clothing, obsessed with a man who doesn’t love her back.

Well-acted and suitably eerie, Darker lays the questions on thick and withholds the answers until the very final moments.

 
 
 
 

 

 
06.07.2011 at 12:04 Reply
Darker Fringier my rating- 2.5 out of 4 There was a lot of positive buzz for this play. New Edgecliff Theatre has a well deserved reputation for quality and innovation. We went not knowing what the play was about. By the end, we knew even less what it was about. We went on a quest to find someone who understood the play. Everyone agrees with us that the acting and staging are great. No one could explain the play. Some had theories, some did not. Here is the measure of how people reacted: some hated the ambiguity and resented this play, some were comfortable with the ambiguity and enjoyed the play. Perhaps that was the point- how we respond to darkness.

 

 
 
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