Capital Critics' Circle
Le cercle des critiques de la capitale

Reviewing Theatre in Canada's Capital Region
La critique théâtrale de la région Ottawa-Gatineau

Attempts on Her Life: Brave, bold, modern, challenging, creative

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

“Attempts on Her Life” is written by postmodern British playwright Martin Crimp, but has been entirely interpreted by Peter James Haworth, which is probably the only regularity in a highly irregular play. I say ‘regularity’ only because that is exactly the way Crimp works. Narrative is not his focus, therefore his dialogues are meaningless. The stage resembles madhouse whose residents are lost in nothingness. Reality disappears, lucid identity is non-existent, and lives are lived in a virtual world shaped by media.   

The story – if one can talk about a story at all – revolves around Anne, the only character in the play. That is, if we can talk about character at all. Anne is not on the stage. She might be already dead, still alive, in the neighbourhood, or somewhere very far. Everybody talks about her, trying to shape her, disagrees about who she is, but in spite of all of that, here she is. She occupies our minds, our thoughts and becoming more real than we are. Welcome to the modern world of advanced technology and consumerism wrapped up into a global capitalism. In seventeen apparently disconnected scenes, groups of people talk about her as a terrorist, a porno star, a tourist hostess, a daughter of grieving parents, a suicide artist and even as a car. Crimp does not express his opinion; he does not create atmosphere or protagonist and anti-protagonists. In his emotionally detached work, he leaves every possible interpretation to the director.

There is no point in trying to understand a deeper meaning of the story (because there is none).  (Continue reading » )