Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Play #46 - Freakshow by Carson Kreitzer

It's sort of difficult to describe this play. It's not easy to discern a plot per se. But the characters are all members of a traveling freak show run by Mr. Flip, and headlined by Amalia - a woman with no arms or legs. She is looked after by Judith who, when she was young, was the hit of the freak show as the dog faced girl. Nearby is the Human Salamander, perpetually in his tank, and the Pinhead, always singing away in his cage. Amalia is having an affair with Matthew, who ran away from home to be with her, but she is really in love with the Pinhead. Eventually, a girl named Louisa also joins the show after she falls in love with the Human Salamander. Time are changing as we follow this collection of misfits - people are less interested in the freak shows than they once were. Judith decides to leave to return home where she will take care of her sister, and Matthew leaves because Amalia tells him to. Louisa originally wants the Human Salamander to run away with her, but eventually she decides to come up with a fortune telling act so that they can be together on the road. In the end, however, Amalia and Mr. Flip are really all the other has left, and the Pinhead burns the show to the ground with a pack of matches left behind by Matthew.

Rather than a play about events, this feels more like a play about seeing people as people. It's a play about love - most of it unrequited. It's a play about finding where you belong and who you belong with. And, as you might expect, the freaks may well be the most human of us all. But still, this play would be quite a feat to stage if one were to go literal with it - in particular the tank of water would be tricky. 

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