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!