Review: Mortimer’s Prison
I think I will forbear discussing my personal life and magic for the time being, for it is that holy time of year in which we praise Dionysos, praise Bacchus, praise Liber through his healing art of Theatre. It is a mass, social magic of which I am glad to be a part. It has also been far too long since I have written a theatre review. Let’s see if I can keep up with the shows I’m seeing! First, though, let me review a show that I saw before the festival and that has been itching to be discussed.
The team was an improvisational two-man team, Mortimer, and their suggestion for the evening, and thus the title of their show, was Prison. The two had great chemistry. They played cellmates, in their cell, and the show was all one scene. The monoscene form has been popular lately, because people like watching the show like a play, instead of just short, frantic, disparate scenes, as can sometimes happen with Harolds and other forms. This form gives you an entire scene in which to invest. Every form is beautiful in its own right, and so is the strength of a monoscene beautiful when done well- which it is often not; it can often be tedious. Yet I enjoyed Prison all the way through the entire scene. And with only two actors! Duos can also be tedious, but this show was far from it.
The two prisoners were cellmates, and the entire scene took place in their cell. They were planning a white power riot, but… nonetheless, it seemed a desire of the two that they wanted more integration in the prison! They wanted diversity and teamwork. They wanted a unity between all peoples in prison. Adding that element was quite funny. They did a lot of that sort of thing.
As I said, these two actors had chemistry. I know that in their personal lives, one of them is a flamboyantly gay occultist, and the other is a completely macho, athletic straight guy into sports. Yet the two played lovers so well. At least, as much as cellmates are lovers- that kind of relationship is always unique, and, as good actors would do, they made their own unique unto itself. I believed them completely, even though they were often saying such silly things. Their physicality was good. They touched each other often and intimately, and used a slew of pet names.
As I said, I enjoyed the whole show. I was interested the whole way through. There was a moment towards the end when the show was reaching its climax, and, after much reflection and plot twists and surprises, they forced us into side-splitting laughter wherein I was rocking back and forth on my couch. It will not sound the same in text, of course- they had been reviewing their relationship and themselves and their respective lives. The passive partner said something that became, at once, terribly funny, and also terribly frightening, both of which because it is true. It was such a good catharsis. He said, “Ten years of forced sodomy…” and he trailed off for just a moment, searching for words. The dominant partner finished his sentence, and the passive partner agreed by repeating it, “It does something to you.” I applaud Mortimer.