Summerworks Picks: Part 1

9 Aug

One day in and we already have a gem of a show to tell you about!

Tender Napalm

Philip Ridley’s not-at-all-straightforward piece (the contrast in the title is appropriate) may be about two young people stranded on a tropical island, it may be about two people falling in love at a bittersweet party, it may be about both. There are few structural barriers to the reality presented, making for a delightfully fluid and vibrant experience. Ridley’s script is rich with overlapping themes; love, lust, violence, and loss all permeate the story without it ever feeling contradictory or overwhelming.

Director Cynthia Ashperger keeps her cast in constant physical and emotional motion, making the transitions between scenes (and the term is used loosely) impressively seamless. She, along with her talented cast (Kyle Purcell and Amelia Sargisson) capture the spirit of children playing make-believe while offsetting it with some very adolescent and adult moments.

Purcell and Sargisson both impress, each walking a fine line between aggression and remorse, reality and imagination. Sound designer David Mesiha also deserves a nod for his work.

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