Out of the Water by Brooke Berman
by Melynda von Wayward
Reviewed on Sat, 29/03/2014 - 06:18am
Melynda von Wayward Total Reviews: 36
 
Reviewer Rating
Overall rating:
6
Okay
Experience:
6
Okay
Quality:
6
Okay
Recommend:
6
Okay
Usefulness:
6
Okay
 
Out of the Water by Brooke BermanOut of the Water by Brooke Berman
Theatre Review by Tony Reck

What: Out of the Water by Brooke Berman
When: Feb. 5 - March 8
Where: Red Stitch
Directed by Nadia Tass
Performed by Kate Cole, Brett Cousins, Emily Milledge

Out of the Water is a melodrama that has pretensions to allegory. But it remains a pot-boiler about love in the age of conservatism.

Graham meets his step-sister Polly at their step-father's funeral in Ohio. They soon embark upon a whirlwind affair that begins with sex in the back seat of a car, and continues when Graham follows Polly to New York. Here, the emotional complexities of their fling deepen.

Graham has abandoned his wife and children to be with Polly. While Polly herself, at first unimpressed by Graham's unannounced appearance on her doorstep, soon warms to her new beau's presence. Graham adopts the role of man about the house, constructing shelves and supporting Polly in her business venture. That is, until his recently abandoned daughter appears, demanding her father return home to Ohio. Here, playwright Brooke Berman draws a superficial parallel between her tale, and the myth of Odysseus.

Graham, tempted by the siren Polly, has embarked upon a journey of self-discovery; only to realise his mistake and finally return home to the woman he loves. The classical allusion sits nicely in the play, even if it does seem smug and unnecessary.

Berman's script is a well-crafted piece of American Naturalism and Nadia Tass's direction is articulate and concise. The characters are definitive, the story is told with flair, and the conclusion is somewhat inevitable. With a running time of 100 minutes minus interval, this production of Out of the Water is a considered achievement that will entertain those who believe in the inevitable tragedy of illicit love.
 
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