Extremities – New Theatre – Review
Extremities by William Mastrosimone – Disappear Here Theatre Company
Oct 29th – Nov 10th
Marjorie is at home alone in the house she shares with two female friends. A man arrives at her door and asks can he use the phone. Marjorie is quite unnerved by his presence and asks him to leave. He refuses her request and starts to linger all too long, before he eventually attacks her, forcing her to the ground. However, she manages to over come her would be rapist, and ties him up in a variety of cords and cables. He has been captured by his potential victim and is now under her control. The next question is what she should do with him!
This is a play which was written by William Mastrosimone in 1982. It was quite successful in its time and opened in the Westside Theatre in New York, running for over 300 performances, with both Susan Sarandon and Farrah Fawcett playing the lead role. It was later converted into a film in 1986, again starring Fawcett.
The play helped to open a dialogue on rape and how the judicial system deals (or fails to deal) with it. Now, with the perspective of nearly 40 years and the recent #metoo movement, disappear here theatre company have decided to produce the play for a modern audience. With work such as ‘Asking for it’ about to open at the Abbey theatre, which has sold out its entire run prior to opening, there is no doubt that this is a contentious issue of our time.
The play features a four member cast, with Lisa Tyrrell taking the lead role as Marjorie. She is extremely impressive as the would be victim turned captor. Fiach Kunz plays the villain, a man of unknown origins who creates a malevolent air right from the off. The roles of the two house mates are played by Mallory Adams and Sarah O’Rourke, and they serve as differing points of view from Marjorie.
Director Emily Foran plays the opening scene with a slow and steady movement, as we see Marjorie spending some quiet moments at home watering plants and reading. We wait for the violence to erupt and the scene of the attack is quite chilling. The play focuses on the lack of any real justice for men such as this, and the fact that he would likely be returned straight back to the street. While the play is of a considerable age, little has changed and it still feels as relevant as ever. The strong performances by the two lead actors create a troubling atmosphere that will haunt you long after you leave the theatre. Not the easiest piece of theatre in Dublin this week but definitely one of the best.
Director – Emily Foran