Has our obsession with true crime always been with us? In 1551, Alice Arden and her lover arranged the murder of Alice’s husband, Lord Arden of Faversham.
In 1592 this true crime sensation was portrayed in a play, Arden of Faversham (believed to have been written by multiple authors including, some argue, Shakespeare). “Arden of Faversham” serves as a play within the play in this brief Guillotine Theatre production.
Complete with inside-Fringe jokes, this is a show theater folks can appreciate.
Deadlie Affairs: Arden of Faversham
closes July 28, 2018
Details and tickets
Tina (Catherine Aselford) and Cathy (Cate Brewer) are modern-day D.C. actors and roommates lamenting the lack of desirable roles, especially for women. As they are steeped in true crime credits, Tina proposes that they put on “Arden of Faversham” for Fringe. When their landlord Herb (Terence Aselford) comes a-knocking for the rent, he is drawn into an impromptu performance of the original play.
The three take on multiple roles including Alice Arden and her lover, Mosby, Lord Arden, and a series of would-be killers. Tina, Cathy, and Herb employ their knowledge of true crime plots to explore the story and impart lessons learned such as “people with rare dog breeds shouldn’t commit crimes.”
While the acting was uneven and the transitions between plays a little clunky, the performance improved as we went deeper into “Arden” where the actors seemed more secure in its Elizabethan script. The “hey kids, let’s put on a show” vibe takes a dark turn as we see how far a true crime obsession – or Fringe – can push a person.
Deadlie Affairs: Arden of Faversham. Creators: Catherine Aselford, Cate Brewer. Featuring: Catherine Aselford, Terence Aselford, Cate Brewer. Stage Manager: Lisa K. Blythe. Produced by Guillotine Theatre. Note that the show is approximately 40 minutes (well under the 60 minutes listed in the Fringe program).