Craig Wright has written a new, bewildering take on Oedipus called “Blind” and you can see it at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater through March 21st. But don’t say I sent you.
In what could be the strangest theatrical experience I’ve ever had at the Rattlestick, King Oedipus (Seth Numrich – with bandaged feet that have no problem stalking the stage) has a sit down, heart to heart discussion with his wife Jocasta (a reed thin, frosty and feisty Veanne Cox) who is also his mom.
A ninety minute discourse that has them rehashing the famous curse – trying to see the way through their tragic life; trying to discover who knew what and when – that has brought them to this point of literally roaring at each other like two caged animals as directed by Lucie Tiberghien garnering some unwanted giggles.
Trouble is a brewing in Thebes. Ancient Thebes – which is represented by one of the most elaborate contemporary bedrooms ever to grace the stage of the Rattlestick, designed by Takeshi Kata with red lacquered walls, black accents, a cell phone, crown moldings and a bath tub which finds a naked Jocasta soaking and partaking of a stiff cognac as she awaits the return of her young husband. She needs it to get through what follows.
Should he abdicate? What to do with the children? Will the maid (Danielle Slavick) who secretly wants to be Queen and is screwing Oedipus on the side be any help? Especially after the knock down, dragged out making up sex fest between mom and son that has Jocasta pleading to be murdered while vigorously being pummeled by her husband on the shag rug while ripping his eyes out in this self indulgent muddled mess of a play which garners too many unwanted laughs for its own good.
Bravo to the actors for learning their pompous lines and for delivering them with gusto even though we are hard pressed to understand what the meaning of all this is. Perhaps it is that you just can’t fight fate.
www.rattlestick.org Photo: Sandra Coudert
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