The play begins when Nathaniel Fuller, one of the aforementioned marvelous actors, both of whom have been acting on stages around town for decades, enters the crowded dusty stage that looks like a cluttered attic, full of old furniture, crates, and boxes. He sits there in awkward silence for several minutes while the audience waits for the action to start. It was in this moment of silence that J.C. Cutler popped up behind me and spoke the first words of the play, scaring the bejeebers out of me (a feeling that was only just beginning). It soon became clear that Nathaniel is playing a man called Arthur Kipps who has decided to work through a traumatic event in his past by writing it down as a play. J.C. is the actor who helps him tell his story. Eventually we get to the meat of the story, with the actor portraying Kipps as he journeys to a remote part of England to close the estate of a recently deceased client. Kipps himself plays all of the other roles in the story, and as the play-within-a-play goes on he gets more and more comfortable in the telling. The two occasionally break out of character to discuss things, or if Kipps is too upset with the subject matter, hinting at the terror to come. It's a clever way to tell the story, on the one hand the characters are sort of outside of it, but on the other hand they're totally immersed in it.
|Nathaniel Fuller (photo by Keri Pickett)|
|J.C. Cutler (photo by Keri Pickett)|