Having suffered 3 + hours of a taxidermied Edward Albee play the night before my point about actors seemed set in stone … that is, until a Jocular Theatre Company production blew it to bits.
To claim that Joshua Zamrycki‘s band of five did justice to Steven Dietz’s 1996 play would be wrong. Private Eyes may be one of the playwright’s more commercially successful dramas, but it makes an unfocused read. This suggests that it was Mr Zamrycki’s masterful production that brought coherence, depth and tension to the piece … smoothing out its clunks, adding nuance, and bringing flat characters into relief.
A ménage à trois about “the fever of deception” (Dietz), Jocular’s P.E. sees three protagonists caught up in an twisty-turny intrigue of seduction and despair. Each is keen to present themselves in a cocky, superior light and each is betrayed by their own vulnerability, causing palpable shifts of power between them that heighten the tension as the play progresses.
Matthew (Eric Kallin) is pathetic yet excitable, Adrian (David Chevers) is pompous yet crap. Both are eager to let the feisty Lisa (Stephanie Figueira) take the reigns, yet her apparent bravura is punctured by moments of misery as she too loses sight of her motives. With strong supporting roles from Gemma Louize Poole as the sultry Cory, and Lorna Duffy as the sinister therapist Frank, this astoundingly good production puts a dark slant on Dietz’s ‘comedy of suspicion’ turning it into an altogether more shadowy affair, where the lure of drama and the fear of responsibility seem peculiarly well-suited to Spanish election fallout.