Who doesn’t love a dystopian, tyrannical government? I know I sure do.
Though the central character of the Molotov Theater Group’s production of Closet Land may not share my zeal for Orwellian authority and who can really blame her? Closet Land centers on an unnamed author(Jessica Hanson) who is accused of using her children’s stories as a vehicle for subversive, political messages. The government interrogator (Alex Zavistovich), who deftly maneuvers between mirth and menace, attempts every available type of coercion in his arsenal in order to force the author into signing a confession.
Torture is a focal point in the play and director Lucas Maloney does not shy away from its depiction. While some of the violence is masked by lights or insinuated with sound, the majority of it is displayed nakedly on stage. This frankness makes Closet Land difficult to watch at times and certainly not for the timid. Yet, the brutality does serve to provoke questions about the implementations of such methods of torture.
The play’s only weakness is a revelation, which comes toward the end of the play, which seems a bit too contrived. Still, this does not negate the play’s message about the inhumanity of torture. Closet Land is sure to upset some people and maybe that is not a bad thing.
Written by Radha Bharadwaj
Directed by Lucas Maloney
Produced by The Molotov Theater Group
Reviewed by Mo O’Rourke