All the characters in this play are dead, and a large cast makes for plenty of stories relating how the inhabitants of the nineteenth century fictional town of Spoon River, Illinois, came to meet their ends. Adapted from ‘Spoon River Anthology’ by Edgar Lee Masters, ‘American Gothic’ switches between characters and communal scenes to portray the lives of Midwestern townspeople with touches of song. A scene in which Abraham Lincoln, cast in silhouette as the lights turn on the audience, addresses the townspeople is done to great effect. As soon as the lights dimmed at the end of the performance, however, several actors broke out of character whilst still on stage, ending the show on an awkward note.
theSpace @ Venue 45, 7-10 Aug, (times vary).
tw rating 3/5 | [Colette M Talbot]