Monday, June 16, 2008


Friday night I went to see Octopus at The Magic Theater. This time I remembered to save a program, unfortunately I left said program at home. No full name references this time either, sorry.

I enjoyed it even more than Bug the night before. It’s been extended through this weekend, so if you have a chance, go see it. Be warned though, the show has the nickname “Cocktopus” for a reason. You will see 4 men completely naked, but only at the end of one scene. The nudity worked and didn’t seem gratuitous. It did, however, make me wish that the Playhouse had kept the nudity in Bug.

Octopus is a moving look at the nature of love, specifically male homosexual love and the various politics therein, but broader messages are easily accessible for us heterosexual types. The play uses absurdist elements well (sea monsters, soaking wet telegram delivery men with plastic smiles, flowing water, characters at the bottom of the ocean monologueing ) without being strange just for strangeness sake. In a lot of ways, this is exactly the kind of storytelling I love so it’s no surprise that I like it.

I particularly like using water onstage and this show does a wonderful job of it. Something about real water highlights the immediacy of live theatre and creates an experience that cannot be replicated on TV or film.

Every character in the play served a purpose and had their moment to justify their existence. Seeing that made me realize Bug lacked in that regard a bit. While I could see the reason certain characters in Bug existed, I questioned whether or not they needed to or if they’re purpose could have been filled another way. Or maybe the reasons didn't seem like enough leaving the play feeling imbalanced.

I will say that some of the dialogue did not seem to follow what had just been said. I especially had trouble following the monologue under the sea. The actors did a wonderful job of making each line seem to flow from the one before it which made the progressions appear logical, but at closer inspection ideas didn’t seem to really relate. As a result, I kept dropping out of the play at times.

1 comment:

  1. "The nudity worked and didn't seem gratuitous."

    If it's not gratuitous...then it's no damn good!


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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.