To be honest, I’m a little bit scared to review Fringe veteran John Feffer’s new play, Interrogation. For one, he makes it very clear that he has access to my name, email address, and employer. For another, the fun and innovation inherent in this show come from the secrecy surrounding it. And yet, one of Interrogation’s themes is truth at any cost, so I’ll forge on.
Feffer is a veritable Capital Fringe icon—this is his sixth Fringe production. His work tends to be political in nature, which makes sense for a theatre festival held in our nation’s capital.
Without giving too much away, Interrogation is a dark farce that examines the current state of privacy (or, more accurately, the lack thereof) in the modern United States. It also masterfully breaks the fourth wall and truly goes beyond being a play and truly turns into an experience.
Feffer is back acting on the stage in Interrogation, this time as a shrewd mystery man with a disarming Southern drawl. As you enter into the Mountain, you’re greeted by a spread of alcohol, food, and tickets for door prizes, but nothing is completely as it seems.
Feffer’s familiarity with Capital Fringe is apparent, and he uses this knowledge to make the work truly immersive. It’s a show that makes you uncomfortable, makes you think (both about government surveillance and the nature of being a theatre-goer), and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
by John Feffer
900 Massachusetts Ave NW
Details and tickets
In highlighting this, Feffer obviously has a message to send, but it’s to his credit as a playwright that it never feels crammed down the audience’s throat or beaten over our heads—instead, he invites us to experience these phenomena for ourselves and come to our own conclusions about whether sacrificing privacy for safety is worth it.
There are some clunky moments in the show and times when more backstory would have gone a long way toward creating an emotional impact on the audience. But, in the end, Interrogation is something worth experiencing, especially for avid Fringe-goers who fear the festival may have lost its edge and innovative spirit in recent years.
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