Theatre Review: Savage In Limbo

A succinct one-act play, the U of A’s Studio Theatre production of Savage in Limbo delivers on its existential themes, but rarely tests the range of its actors. 

The characters are bloated caricatures, rarely sympathetic, and it falls on the actors to keep us engaged and believing in this vignette, and they manage a mostly reasonable job.  There are a few problems with actors falling in and out of their affected Bronx accents. The exposition of the play relies heavily on dialogue that feel like introspective monologues that the actors are left to deliver, but there’s very little emotion or feeling on the simple, static pub setting. 

The lone standout in the cast, Nicola Elbro as Denise Savage, consistently delivers a solid performance, maintaining a believable accent while effortlessly embodying the role of a sheltered and jaded thirty-two year old virgin.

Kim McCaw’s direction is consistent and at times feels very traditional, particularly through the end, where the actors are tested in an attempt to show more emotion, but this could also be attributed to John Patrick Stanley’s writing.

The writing is mostly strong enough to keep the audience engaged, but the denouement falls flat when the lights dim and the simmering problem of existentialism that is ripe throughout the play comes to a full boil with shouting that feels more ridiculous than dramatic. 

Overall, an enjoyable play, but it has a few faults that leaving it feeling stilted and unresolved in its execution.

Three out of five stars.

more in Theatre Review     |     posted Dec 4th, 2010 at 9:13pm     

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