Two one acts
A RECLUSE AND HIS GUEST (World premiere)
THE REMARKABLE ROOMING-HOUSE
OF MME, LE MONDE (New York Premiere)
A Playhouse Creatures production
At Walker Space
DIRECTED BY COSMIN CHIVU
Running till March 13
A RECLUSE AND HIS GUEST Is set in a remote time and most probably in a far removed Northern
Town. We encounter a tall person, gender not yet defined, (But we soon finds out that she is a woman) who is wearing layers of raggedy furs to protect herself from the howling winds and cold weather while she roams around in the midnight forest. Her name is Nevrika and she is hungry and
lonely. She encounters a character near a dark alley who calls her a,"WHORE" and accuses her of
committing ,"Unnatural acts" While indulging in them himself and asking her to come back the next day so he can have more of it.
Nevrika, (Brilliant Kate Skinner) ends up in a baker's shop and steal some stale bread and asks the village people if they know of a man without a wife who needs to be taken care of and finally come to live in a barn like decrepit
house with the recluse named Ott, (Excellent Ford Austin) Who gradually warms up to her very tender and patient affection. There is a beautiful little scene where she bathes him and he actually
attend the town's Spring Festival where they enjoy dancing and drinking but then an accident happens, not of any serious consequence but brings the paranoia of the recluse back in full circle
where he doesn't want her any more. Its a very touching and poignant play with the poetry of Tennessee's earlier plays. Actually at times she reminded me of Blanche who is always searching for love and kindness of others. At one point she says to Ott, "Would it offend you if I told you that I am in love...that I love you?" The words are so moving, so Tennessee Williams.
After she is being asked to leave Nevrika is back in her winter furs and says,"All my travels have lead me, in a wandering way." To the ice in the harbor I will feel the cold for a while and then- I will sleep...I will not have to wait long for it."
Mind you the play was written in 1982 and Tennessee passed away in 1983. "And then I will sleep..."
This line made me feel that Nevrika was more Like Williams than the recluse.
his play is accompanied by live Cello, (Paul Brantley, also the production's composer.
Lighting design in both plays by John Eckert is mesmerizing.
The play is brilliantly directed by Cosmin Chivu.
THE REMARKABLE ROOMING-HOUSE OF MME.LE MONDE
The set remains the same, the action completely changes. The play takes place in an attic in London The play turns into incredible violence
and abuse of a cripple, Mint (Jade Ziane ) avery demandingly physical role where the actor has to slide down the staircase not once but a few times. He is paralyzed from the waist down and there are ropes here for him to hang on to which are extremely cumbersome. Its an attic of a rooming house run by MME LE MONDE, (Kate Skinner) though she appears towards the end of the play but is wonderful and so very different from the other play.
Mint is constantly raped by her son (Declan Eells) and the Hall( Patric Darwin Williams) an Industrialist, greedy and extremely uncouth old class fellow of Mint who tortures Mint constantly and prevents him even from a cup of tea which he consumes himself teasingly torturing the victim.
The main character of this play, Hall in a brightly tangerine colored suit is ok but suffers from inadequate British accent. But nevertheless its a great effort on Cosmin Chivu's part to bring us these
late and unknown plays by one of the master of theater to say the least. Its always a great pleasure to hear Tennessee Williams poetry even if its laced in Violence some time.
Both plays are amazingly staged and directed and very well acted.