Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tragedy: A Tragedy by Will Eno, Hyde Park Theatre, September 12 - October 12, 2013

ALT review Austin TX

by Jess Helmke
Tragedy A Tragedy by Will Eno Hyde Park Theatre Austin TX
Much To Say About Nothing

The sun has set. The theatre is quiet. And a play begins. Just another normal Thursday night in the Austin Hyde Park neighborhood.

But maybe it’s more than that, suggests playwright Will Eno. His play Tragedy: a Tragedy is now running at Hyde Park Theatre, engaging audiences with ironic perceptions of mundane, everyday life. Eno’s repetitious cyclone of humor entertains the audience with threads of thematic action, roccoco rythmic storytelling, glimmers of conflict, lyric poetics, and the occasional element of surprise.

The mere fact that Will Eno uses television as his theatrical setting is unexpected. The play of gives us four main characters: Frank the anchor, John the weatherman, Constance the elated and naive reporter, and Michael the global reporter . Tragedy begins as a straightforward newscast, typical in speech pattern and line delivery, butr a little disappointing since there seems to be a lack of events to report. Characters speak directly to the audience as if we were sitting in the comfort of own homes, and their stage business is humorously appropriate with index fingers to the eapieces and sips of coffee by the anchor. I totally bought it.

The power and versatiity of the tool of theatre is exploited in most of Will Eno’s work, and the comedy Tragedy: a Tragedy is no different. Its discussions about darkness remind us of a bare stage. Its painful nostalgic childhood stories almost make us nervous all over again. And the play’s still, quiet moments lie glimmering like the stars. Begging observers to think. To try. To understand. To comment. To DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING in this existential awareness report from Action 7 News.

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