Virtual Reality, by Alan Arkin
Directed and produced by Sandy Topzand
Cast: Brian Andre and Eli Thorne
Sound: Alex McKenzie, Lighting: John Ricker
Stage manager; sound and video design: Sandy Topzand
Performed 12th May 2015
Perdu. Kloveniersburgwal 86, Amsterdam
Performed 15th May 2015
Badhuistheater. Andreas Bonnstraat 28, Amsterdam
Performed 23rd May 2015
FEATS: Festival of European Anglophile Theatre Societies.
Altonaer Theater, Museumstrasse 17
22765 Hamburg, Germany
Where we won:
Best Play, Best Actor (Eli and Brian jointly) and the Stage Management Award
Two men waiting for equipment to do an unspecified job. The one in charge insists on doing a dry run inventory of the contents of the expected crates. The purely hypothetical assumes a wacky, sinister autonomy that transports them to a frozen wilderness. They grow close; they grow apart; they become mortal enemies.
A gem of nuanced interaction, one of those deftly constructed two-handed exercises built on back-and-forth shifts of mood. A deeply funny, finely graded psychological portrait that also becomes a tribute to the conjuring powers of theater. Imagine the testy, silly one-upmanship of Abbott and Costello crossed with the menacing ambiguity of Harold Pinter and you'll get the idea.
(Thanks to Arjen Veldt www.arjenveldt.nl for his photographs from our Badhuistheater performance.)