Photo by Don Kellogg

Monday, November 8, 2010


The British invasion has arrived.  Each year 59E59 Theaters hosts Brits off Broadway - a theater festival chock full of shows of all forms, sizes, and shapes from across the pond.  Pieces is a brilliantly disquieting work by Hywel John staring 3 British actors who grace the intimate stage for 90 minutes of non-stop intensity.

From the get-go, Steven Meo (Jack), Louise Collins (Beatrice), Jennifer Kidd (Sophie) weave an eerie and well-acted tale.  At first blush it seems a simple sad story - Jack and Beatrice, two young children, have lost both their parents (seemingly in a car accident by the screeching tires we hear in the dark as the lights come up).

The deeper we dive into the mysterious life of these twins who are isolated in the British countryside with their god-mum, now guardian, an eerie, bizarre tale unfolds.  The seemingly innocent, well-raised children are adamant about preserving the memory of their parents - wearing their clothes, repeating their words and phrases and, with grave consequences, attempting to re-enact their life - Picking up the pieces and moving on, as it were.  What they attempt is the literal, but what we see is how that literal is not fully understood by the child's mind.  Though this odd behavior we see the relationship between the adult and children progress as the days wear on.  When Jack learns a secret about Sophie, we see the tale take a bizarre journey to a shocking and unsettling end.  Applause at the end seemed inappropriate, yet very well deserved.