Presented by Marketplace Players
Reviewed: 2009-07-23 11:21:13
By: Leila Marston (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The concept behind Eddy Recalled is a challenging one and could have sparked a very thought-provoking play. However, uneven performances throughout and an awkward script keep the idea's potential from being fully realised.
The show begins with Eddy's funeral and quickly proceeds to Eddy's return from the dead, which leads to the revelation of long-hidden secrets and the healing of old wounds. The show got off to an extremely slow, wooden start; at no point during the first 20-30 minutes did I believe that I was seeing family members interacting or that this was a family that had just lost a member, even a troublesome one like Eddy. Once Eddy came back into the picture, the pace began to pick up a bit, and the characters moved into easier interactions with each other. (The exception to this was Maddy Lowen, whose peaceful and happy energy was a joy to see throughout the play.) It was really only in the last 15-20 minutes that the story and its tellers truly came to life, and it was then that the best moments came. The story reading and "bedtime" at the end, especially, were appropriately sad yet serene.
The writing, as mentioned, is off in places, with natural dialogue and some funny moments interspersed with odd, clinical speeches that sound as if they're being read aloud from a textbook rather than spoken between people. Certain less-important plot points were dragged out, like characters interminably discussing Eddy over beer, and other, more interesting ideas, like "what the doctors said" and Eddy's Internet research (which could have built more suspense), were rushed through. The worst aspect of the writing was, unfortunately, the Fringe program summary; after reading that the play was about "the ethical and moral implications of human engineering," I had already guessed the secret of Eddy's family and thus was completely unmoved by the play's big moment of revelation.
I think that Eddy Recalled would have made a better short story or witty essay than a full-length play; the show is a good effort, but with enough issues that I was fairly unaffected by it.
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