The profound and the profane came together on Friday night of the Infringement Festival in the Red Room. Excellent student writing and talented actors made Infringement’s last day of shows before Best of the Fest possibly the highlight of the week.
The night opened with Emma Morris’ Shadhika, an intimate character portrait of a young Black Widow, a participant in Chechnya’s suicide bomber resistance against Russia. Though this dark topic was an ambitious one to take on, director Courtney Zwicker’s artful execution and the cast’s dedicated performance made this show and its story a great success.
Tom Lute’s Pointers seemed at first to be the foil of Shadhika, with its off-the-cuff witty banter from Tom Lute, John Woolaver and Paul Robinson. The show took a dark turn, however, when the specter of the sexual assault of a loved one shattered the casual nature of the opening.
Lute here showed his natural talent for capturing the inside jokes and casual misogyny of private male friendship. However, this back-and-forth banter seemed somewhat out of place once the possibility of sexual assault was introduced, and, though this play’s serious points were beautifully delivered by Lute, Robinson and Woolaver, it could have benefited from greater gravity in their characters’ emotional turns.
Nonetheless, the jokes were witty, the dialogue well-delivered, and the characters utterly loveable. It isn’t surprising that this excellent show, I was told later over a pint, won Best of the Fest for its block.
After a brief break and some Arthur-related trivia, the crowd returned for the bizarre and enjoyable The Meeting, written by Sean Mott and directed by Alex Schaffter. This comedic meeting of two masters of the universe was rich with political satire, and Mott’s conclusion—with the sounds of earth’s destruction ringing around the stoic suits—was wonderfully understated.
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This was followed by Alex Eaton’s Genesis Redux, a retelling of the story of Adam and Eve over an apple martini. Though Noah Wilson, as Gerry (God) the bartender, sometimes distracted with his hilarious stage business, the other actors embraced it with style and performed their own roles excellently.
The final play of the evening was the much talked about (and tweeted about) Dr. President, an orgy of comedy from writer/directors Jacob Rhodes, Warren McDougald, Calum Agnew, Simcha Walfish and Laura Holtebrinck.
Quintessentially Fringe, this show’s progression from political grandstanding to strip-dancing to Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” made absolute sense to me, though I’m not sure about the two foot long dildo used in the karate fight…
The cast, which exploded with all the energy eight people and copious amounts of liquor can provide, performed this ridiculously hilarious show with all the puns, physical comedy and Southern accents you could ever want.
An excellent way to wrap up the week, Friday’s shows matched the height of King’s student drama with the utter insanity this school is capable of. A cast of familiar faces took to the stage and blew the audience away—if only Best of the Fest had slots for all of them.
Infringement concludes tonight with Best of the Fest in the KTS Red Room, featuring Alexandra Cooke’s Hitman: The Musical, Rach Klein’s Space Monkeys, Tom Lute’s Pointers, Jacob Rhodes, Warren McDougald, Calum Agnew, Simcha Walfish and Laura Holtebrinck’s Dr. President, Dave Etherington and John Cavan’s Arthur: The College Years, and Matthew Green’s The Goat Song.