FEAST presented by Know Theatre of Cincinnati through Sept. 20.
The gang at Know Theatre have been at the forefront of bringing online content to local audiences. With FEAST, Know brings a fully-staged production to our “little boxes” with great success.
Playwright Megan Gogerty re-tells the legend of Beowulf from the viewpoint of Grendel’s mother. As history is written by the victors, she-who-was-not-named in the epic poem takes us to tasks for her grievances against our fathers, who not only killed and mutilated her son, but who also painted him as a “monster” for all time.
Gogerty’s script is smart, insightful and cleverly weaves 21st century themes into the narrative. Unexpected laughs, great turns of phrase, and thought-provoking conclusions permeate the performance.
Jennifer Joplin handles the dense and demanding script extremely well. Her verbal stream of consciousness flows from doting mother to vengeful, not to be trifled with demigod, and every emotion rings true.
Director Tamara Winters’ deft hand shows a strong understanding of the material. The show is well staged, being mindful of the camera but not beholden or tied to it. The flow of the show feels natural and makes great use of the entire play space.
The set, designed by Andrew Hungerford, not only defines the confined space, but allows the use of light and shadow to enhance the visual component of the show. Clever stage lighting plays with Joplin’s features as the character’s emotions ebb and flow. Stringent use of sound and visual effects, supplied by Douglas Borntrager, do much to add to the atmosphere of the work.
Congratulations all on a well-done, engaging production.
My rating: 4.75 out of 5.
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