Here is the first review of Nevermore by Faith Wesstrom as it appears on the website Smaller Indiana: http://smallerindiana.com/profiles/b...nd-fringe-blog
Fringe Blog on Nevermore
Posted by Faith Wesstrom on August 25, 2009 at 4:48am
Time to watch my first fringe play – “Nevermore” By Twilight Productions and starring Russell McGee as the Raven aka Edgar Allan Poe and Amy Pettinella who is founder of Twilight Productions as well as writer/director and also plays the opposite to Russell as the dejected Woman writer who got a visit from the Raven/Poe.
This drama play has a lot of soliloquies, and tested my limited literature knowledge!
The play started with music followed by a soliloquy by Russell-the Raven in the opening scene with Delirious in Baltimore – I suppose this was Poe in his last days.
The theme of beauty, melancholy, death, despair, hopelessness is ever present in the beginning. It appeared to me that The Raven/apparition was also portrayed as Poe himself.
I guess this being Poe – where one of his famous quote “The death of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetic topic in the world”, so the Woman writer who seemed to attempt suicide was apt.
Synopsis: a woman writer is dejected with the rejection of her writings/poems to the publisher. She was having a writer’s block, not wanting to write anymore. She lost someone close and seemed to have lost the will to live. She was drinking to dull the pain and sorrow and took pills and went to bed. She received a visit from “the Raven” and the ensuing conversation that lasted throughout the play which revealed Poe’s life and a glimpse of the dejected woman’s life and journey into destruction/hopelessness and she questioning towards the end, whether she really had wanted to end her life? As the play was coming to a close, she fell asleep again.
Just as the poem “The Raven” started with the speaker nearing napping awakened by the tap tapping on the window, the sorrow of the lost Lenore, the ensuing terror, self questioning, hopelessness and the raven symbolic of mournful, neverending remembrance, the play also started with the Russell Raven tap-tapping and got into Amy’s Woman writer’s room and at first she was terrified and questioned the apparition, and after finding out it was The Raven, her terror turned to curiosity, started finding out more about Poe as he told his life story, interjected by him questioning the woman’s destructive emotions and actions, and as such, she diving into her inner self and revealing her loss, sorrow, despair and hopelessness. At one point, suicide and death was broached upon and the woman writer suddenly questioned if she actually killed herself, as the Raven spoke in the past tense, and she was afterall, talking to an apparition. Did she regret her pill taking/drinking?
Now, the ending of this poem takes a different course than the original poem.The Raven in The Raven poem is a symbol of mournful and never-ending remembrance, of hopelessness..of soul that is lifted… Nevermore..while I think, in this case, Amy’s play ended with symbols of hope.. instead of hopelessness..
The finale of the play is performed by Ed Sanders of Poe's Haunted Palace.
I think if one is a fan of Edgar Allan Poe or writers of this kind of genre, or someone who loves poetry, perhaps he/she can take away more from this play than I can. I take a casual interest in poetry and I’ve read the Raven only twice and the only other writer whose books I've read (because of literature class in school) is Ernest Hemmingway only. So my literary knowledge is very limited. I didn't quite get the continuity from the opening scene of Poe delirious in Baltimore going to visit the Woman writer. What prompted him to go to her? Is it her suicide attempt? Or because she's a writer with a writer's block? Or both? I couldn't hear some of the lines of the soliloquies and then there are times I didn’t quite understand what was being said. However, I did enjoy the character study. Great portrayal of deep inner feelings by Amy as she went through grief, anger, and a whole gamut of feelings. Humor was not lost on me. Similarly, Russell’s Raven/Poe was eloquent and quite funny especially with the interactions with the Woman writer, and just as smoothly he could become serious, philosophical, deep, dark and portrayed pain and sorrow when he talked about his life, and the women in his life.
It’s a good start to my first fringe experience.
Venue and dates:
Theatre on the Square - Stage 2
Friday, Aug 28 - 6pm
Saturday, Aug 29 - 4.30pm
Sunday, Aug 30 - 7.30pm