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Hidenori Nakajo

The Creeps

September 8, 2023

Catherine Waller’s one person show, "The Creeps", has all the elements of a successful horror show: a macabre setting, dark lighting, off-beat characters, and strange unexplained going-ons. Unfortunately, several things get in the way of its registering. Created and starring Waller dressed entirely in form fitting black, the production has eschewed a director who is very much needed as there is too much dead time in this slightly less than one hour show. At this length it still seems long with too many undramatic pauses. Presented in the renovated four-sided Playhouse 46 at St. Luke’s, the audience is also aware of each other throughout which makes the evening a great deal less scary than it ought to be. Scott Monnin’s lighting is never dark enough to make us feel that we are in some place other than the theater with other people. [more]

Autumn Royal

October 20, 2021

Previously only known for his novels and short stories, first-time playwright Kevin Barry brings the same full-hearted doom and gloom to the stage in "Autumn Royal" that was evidenced in his Booker-Prize-longlisted "Night Boat to Tangier," unravelling May's and Timothy's forlorn existences with a compassion apparently meant not only for these two characters but also for anyone in the audience whose time is slipping away faster than their ability to enjoy it. In other words, Autumn Royal is the perfect midlife-crisis-cum-Covid play. (I dare the Irish Rep to use that in the advertisements!) Though Barry wrote it before the pandemic's onset, this fraught two-hander has gained, perhaps against its will, a far deeper resonance from the subsequent worldwide catastrophe, a fact that doesn't escape director Ciarán O’Reilly who turns Charlie Corcoran's spare and icy set into a very lonely domestic island for May and Timothy to neither share nor experience anything fundamentally new other than, of course, the neighbors' priggish judgment for wanting to shed their father for greener pastures. [more]