(Bonni Suval and Aaron Malberg in the Thrillpeddlers' production. Photo by Daniel Nicoletta.)
In my review of the Thrillpddlers' production of Marat/Sade, I didn't mention how many times I spaced out.
There were a lot of space-outs: Peter Weiss's play is dense and complex. If it doesn't absolutely demand a decent understanding of the history and politics of Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary France, the play is certainly better appreciated with a brush-up. And even then, all but the most diligent audience members are likely to feel challenged by Weiss's difficult syntax.
Yet I didn't mind being a space cadet. Russell Blackwood's ensemble supplied more than enough entertainment for my wandering mind.
Still, perhaps I should question why I so hastily omitted my distractedness from my review. We critics are supposed to seem erudite, after all, no lofty idea escaping our sharp analytical abilities. To admit that you fail to grasp every philosophical nuance is to seem unconfident or unqualified. If I'm honest with myself, I must own up feeling reluctant to broadcast the fact that, while watching this performance, I was not constantly firing on every intellectual cylinder.
But at the same time, intellect was simply not that relevant to my experience of this production. And if good criticism is just a well-written account of one person's experience of a show, then this article is true to mine, space-outs and all.
Marat/Sade continues through July 29; info here.