This is one of those shows that you go into expecting something a bit weird and a bit different and leave realising that there’s no way you could have anticipated what you just sat through; it was just that bizarre.
I honestly cannot tell you what this show was about. The title obviously suggests that there is some connection to Emily Dickinson, but I couldn’t personally grasp what that was for the majority of the hour. Certainly, there were occasional excerpts from her writings, images of her house on a fuzzy TV screen and a section where the performer recounted searching for her grave (with accompanying footage), but none of this seemed to be in any way informative or particularly connected to what else was included.
It’s a mixed media piece, with live action interacting with pre-recorded segments which are presented on a TV, computer screen and a large wall at the back. This structure is interesting and well executed but again, lacks any clear point. There is very little dialogue included and that which there is does not help to elucidate the meaning of the piece. For the majority of the time you are simply watching a strange woman move about the stage doing strange things.
It is possible that there is a whole other level to this piece that will appeal to Emily Dickinson aficionados (the promotional material suggests that there were other references to her life throughout it) but if this exists it certainly requires more than a brief exposure to her poems in high school English class and a cursory reading of her Wikipedia page. For the majority of audience members this is more likely to end up being too surreal to mean anything to them and the best they can hope for is general bewilderment. For others it will be the type of Fringe show they fear encountering.
Kryztoff Rating: 2K
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