When the real live dog got loose and ran around the stage during Theatre 98’s full dress rehearsal of Absurd Person Singular, I thought, “How in the world am I going to write about this?” Things were already different enough with the ever-changing stage, detailed props and farce of a story-line.
And then, I realized the play, written by Alan Ayckbourn and directed by Marcus Willis, wasn’t like a mint being popped into your mouth for a quick BANG! But instead was more like Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper, lasting all day and giving you flavor after flavor of interesting, unheard of combinations.
In the director’s opening remarks, he admitted he wasn’t a fan of the ending and the writer was offered one million dollars to change it, when it first appeared on Broadway, but refused. That’s okay, because I didn’t like the ending of Gone With The Wind either and that turned out to be fairly successful, don’t you think?
My husband and I talked about the play all the way home. And the next morning too. Then I thought about it while I cleaned the kitchen, went to the grocery store and post office. Like a fine wine, Absurd Person Singular has an intriguing aftertaste.
People don’t take time to think about things anymore, but this play and the actors caused me to ignore all the bad news on TV and forget about the crazy world in general.
Instead of being stuck with everyday boring and tragic news stories, I was thinking about things like, “Is social class really a big deal between friends? How’d they make a woman trying to stick her head in an oven funny? I didn’t really laugh at first, but other people were cracking up and then I finally got the joke. Why am I like that? Am I too sensitive? How quickly would my husband die if he called me, “Old Sausage?” Why do playwrights have the urge to use so many slamming and banging doors? Why do British accents make you sound so classy?”
On and on and on. I thought about the play so much I think I may need to go back and see it again.
And what would be so wrong with that?
This play may not be Broadway’s Hamilton or Beauty and the Beast, but it’s the essence of what local theatre should be. It brought a great group of talented people together and is giving the community something to celebrate. Uniqueness, happiness and creative expression. It’s just plain F-U-N.
Absurd Person Singular (which by the way, the name has nothing to do with the play — what a surprise, right?) is a great distraction from our plain-jane lives and gives us a chuckle while providing good conversation.
The next time you talk with a friend, would you rather hear them drone on about more zucchini recipes or have them say, “I saw the most interesting play the other night.” Don’t wait for your friend — be interesting yourself! If you’re in our area, get your tickets now and support the arts. If you live elsewhere, find your own local theatre group and either join the show or buy a ticket. It’s a move you won’t regret.
Absurd Person Singular — July 15-17, 22-24, 29-31. go to theatre98.org or call 251-928-4366 for ticket information.
Cast: Cindy Cazalas, Mark Swalley, Reb Bodet, Anne Bodet, Taryn Rounsaville, Scotty O. White, Bob McDonald and Emily Harrison, Directed by Marcus Willis.