Friday, March 03, 2006

Burning Bridget Cleary - CHAC

Are you a Witch? Are you a Fairy? Are you the Wife of Michael Cleary?

In late 1800s Ireland, witch and fairycraft were not unheard-of. Possessed being were also not unusual. However, for the British imperialists, these 'superstitions' were not something to be considered as legitimate. So how does the court deal with the burning of Bridget Cleary, an allegedly possessed Irish egg-seller? For the answer to that question, you'll need to take a trip to the CHAC between March 2-18th.

Allison Gregory's 'Burning of Bridget Cleary' is the story of the actual events of the days and nights leading up to Bridget's death within the story of the trial related to the events of that night. Michael Cleary seems to take the majority of the heat throughout this story. Though the title character is Bridget, the story centers more around Michael, her husband. His neighbors and friends surround him with suggestions and advice of how to save Bridget. This leads to a convoluted and twisted plot full of twists and turns in finding out what actually happened to Bridget and who is responsible.

Michael Patten's portrayal of Michael Cleary is powerfully played. His accent seems to slip in and out of Irish and his own natural dialect, though. Kate Wisniewski's work as Bridget Cleary is incredibly moving. Her accent seems nearly natural throughout the majority of the production and her fits of feverish fear and panic are frighteningly well done. The work of Darragh Kennan is, by far, the most impressive and entertaining. His work as William Simpson, the landlord's lackey, embodies Gregory's desire for a full spectrum of hilarious and frighteningly serious.

Sheila Daniels' direction has landed this cast with an entertaining production. Her work with Katie Hansen and Pete Tabor on the set and Robert J. Aguilar on lights all compliment each other to create a good show. Heather Shannon Culver's work on costumes is extremely accurate and very practical and functional.

All-in-all, the show is a good and entertaining production of Allison Gregory's telling of this horrific and mysterious event. Though it has it's falling-outs, it is an entertaining show and worth seeing.

No comments: