Anaconda – theater review for Hollywood Fringe Fest – HFF 2012

Anaconda by Sarah Doyle.

Following last year’s presentation at the Fringe, Feeling Feeling, writer/director Sarah Doyle ventures into far darker territory with Anaconda. Hers is a controversial play based on a sordid abuse and bullying scandal that erupted at an Australian private high school – Sydney’s Trinity Grammar – as recently as 2000. Doyle has relocated the action to New York for the Fringe (wobbly US accent from the Australian lead notwithstanding), but apparently plans to revert back to the story’s Sydney origins for its Australian season next year.

Running a taut one hour and 10 minutes, this is a hard-hitting drama complemented by powerful performances. When successful defense attorney Matty (Martin Dingle Wall) learns that an old school mate has committed a violent murder of another former school mate, he feels compelled to take the case on and try to get the killer off. Thanks to Doyle’s beautifully structured writing, eventually we start to piece together the heinous episodes that occurred at the high school. Matty is desperate for some sort of redemption, but his savvy, bitchy wife Bivva (Jordan Ballard) fights hard to save her marriage and talk her husband out of throwing his reputation away.

The entire cast, including Jeremy Glazer and Jonathan Roumie as the antagonistic, wounded killer, give astoundingly powerful performances. A highlight is a wonderfully written and acted awkward scene where two old friends share an intimate memory and revelation.

Anaconda is definitely not for the faint-hearted; there are some descriptions of graphic violence that made this critic queasy. Nevertheless, Sarah Doyle’s effective play is well worth seeing.

 

For more information on all Hollywood Fringe Festival plays, visit their official site.

 

ArtsBeatLA HIT LIST:

FRIDAY, June 8

Anaconda – Preview @ Open Fist Theatre, Friday June 8, 11pm

Open Fist Theatre — 6209 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038

 

The Secret of Sherlock Holmes – opening night (afternoon), Saturday June 9th, 4pm

Theatre Asylum, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles 90038

 

SATURDAY, June 9

No Way Around but Through – Saturday June 9, 8pm  (not Fringe)

Falcon Theater, Toluca Lake

 

Doc Faustus – Saturday June 9th at 11pm

Theatre of Note, 1517 N. Cahuenga Blvd., LA CA

 

SUNDAY, June 10

Jennifer Aniston Stole My Life – 90 mins – Sunday June 10th at 4.30pm

Fringe Mainstage Open Fist Theater 6209 Santa Monica Blvd, 90038

 

French Cabaret – CARPE NOCTEM – Sunday June 10th at 5.30pm

Underground Theatre – 1314 North Wilton Place, Hollywood, CA 90028

 

MONDAY, June 11

 

Red Bastard – Monday June 11th at 8pm

Artworks Theatre & Studios – 6569 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles

 

FRIDAY, June 15

Filthy Liars – Friday June 15th at 10.15pm

The Complex – East Theater – 6476 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90038

SATURDAY, June 16

4 Clowns: That Beautiful Laugh – Saturday June 16th at 10pm

Open Fist Theater – 6209 Santa Monica Blvd.  Los Angeles, CA 90038

SATURDAY, June 23

Mission to Mate – Saturday June 23rd at 5.30pm (1 hour)

Theatre Asylum – 6320 Santa Monica Blvd, LA CA 90038

 

Stay tuned for more reviews!

 

 

 

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