Thursday, 6 March 2008

Disjointed Story, March 6, 2008

Disjointed Story 
by Sean Hanson, Cast & Crew Productions
Chapel off Chapel, March  6 to 16, 2008
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Disjointed Story, written and directed by Sean Hanson, is just as the title suggests: a disjointed story. 

The concept owes something to Schnitzler’s La Ronde or David Hare’s The Blue Room in which numerous lives intersect in an episodic format. However Hanson’s script and production lack such sophistication. This being his first play and first time directing, he has perhaps bitten off more than he can chew.

There are certainly some scenes that are more successful than others and Hanson peppers the script with some playful, swift and funny dialogue. The pace and rhythm of chatter between friends is captured in scenes featuring a group of girlfriends and another with guy-friends.

Although some individual scenes are entertaining, the structure of the 90-minute play is clunky and the story is confused. It requires enormous skill to write for sixteen characters and direct as many actors. The production is more like a showcase for an acting class than a play.

The narrative threads are multiple. A young woman ­– a police officer we discover later – has doubts about her impending wedding. Another engages a hit man to kill the violent boyfriend of a character never seen on stage. A young man attempts, then succeeds, in killing himself after a hit and run accident. Several characters are dumped by partners, four go on a blind date, two rob a mansion, one confesses to beating his girlfriend.

There are two completely bonkers scenarios. One involves a man and woman who are, in fact, a dark angel and a good angel. The second is an anachronistic scene about a manipulative butler and his weak master. The butler is also responsible for some interminable and totally unnecessary scene changes.

If Hanson scales down his next play to a manageable size, his capacity for writing entertaining dialogue could be more effectively employed.

By Kate Herbert

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