July 31, 2009

Theatre Review - Blackbird at Victory Gardens *****

What more emotional subject is there than a sexual relationship between a 40-year old man and a twelve year old girl? Just reading those words probably made you cringe. But that's the subject of David Harrower's "Blackbird," on stage now at the Victory Gardens Theatre.
A powerful two-person play with William Peterson and Mattie Hawkinson, Blackbird is set fifteen years after the "affair." Una (Hawkinson) has sought out Ray/Peter (Peterson) to confront him with their past. The play explores the evolution of that original relationship and each character's motivation. Long, singular speeches that made me impatient add to the tension but also give you each person's perspective, which is an amazing feat. The raw emotion on stage is riveting and both performances are spectacular. This is a difficult story to tell but nothing is left out, and I'm sure the actors are drained after each performance. I know I was.

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