While I was confused by some of the technical choices in the Women of Lockerbie, particularly the set (Jeremiah Barr) and lighting (Samantha Barr), neither of which gave any hint of place or theme, there is little other in AstonRep’s production with which to find fault. The eponymous women of Lockerbie, who wish to wash the clothes of the victims of infamous Pan Am Flight 103, and return them to the victim’s family, face a fight with a representative of the American State Department: George Jones (Ray Kasper). The play explores dualist binaries, starting with the fact that the women’s former annual celebration of the equinox, the day on which the play crashed, has shifted from a former celebration of the return of light and life into an annual day of mourning, death, and darkness. By contrast, the alleged dichotomy between love and hate is presented and collapsed with some beautiful dialogue regarding those emotion’s relationship to each-other.
In fact, the beauty and lyricism lyrical dialogue is sustained throughout the play and delivered at an incredibly powerful and rhythmic pace. Director Robert Tobin’s blocking is likewise beautiful and thematic, capturing the play’s shifting ideas, emotions, and plot. During the women and American state department’s conflict, an American couple, Madeline (Amy Kasper) and Bill (Jeff Brown), return looking for their son’s unrecovered remains. Both turn in excellent performances, Brown is able to maintain a stoicism under which there are always hints of grief and loss while Kasper portrays Madeline’s manic grief with incredible energy. It is hard to pick out any particular performance from the women in the ensemble. All were excellent. However, the play would not have been a success without Lorraine Freund and Alexandra Bennet. Freund was able to create a real sense of Lockerby which made up for the play’s technical deficits and Bennet for her emotional and realistic performance, and her plot-appropriate demonstration of the most intense grief of among the women of Lockerbie.
According to the Press Packet, Deborah Brevoort’s script is the first post-9/11 play to deal with terrorism and of course remains highly topical. (Although it is my earnest desire that it’s topicality with recede as quickly as possible.) However, there are some light moments. George’s secretary, Hattie (Sarah Pavlak McGuire) provides some much needed but tasteful comic relief. Dialect coach Kendra Kingsbury was partially responsible for successfully locating play it Scotland as she elicited very convincing and unified Scottish accents from the actors. This is certainly one of the most intense, relevant, and interesting play’s I have seen this season.
” The Women of Lockerbie” is playing at the Raven Theatre, located at 6157 N. Clark Street. It runs through Sunday May 8th
Thursday 8 p.m.
Friday 8 p.m.
Saturday 8 p.m.
Sunday 3 p.m.
Regular tickets are $20. Student Senior and Group Tickets are $10.
They Can be purchased at ww.astonrep.com or by calling 773-828 9129. Parking is available in the lot adjacent to the theatre.
Public transportation is as close as the Clark Street bus, which stops on the corner
To see what others are saying, visit www.theatreinchicago.com, go to Review Round-Up and click at “The Women of Lockerbie”