On the Eve questions turning points in three famous stories, in which characters make decisions “on the eve of when the ordinary becomes extraordinary” to quote the Capital Fringe summary. In all three stories, Thomas Anawalt and playwright Amy Frey portray the famous figures.
In the first and most successful story, the miller’s daughter must prove her father’s boasting by spinning hay into gold. If she succeeds, she will marry the king and become the new queen. If she fails, the king will have her beheaded. Enter Rumpelstiltskin, who promises to perform the task in exchange for the woman’s first-born child.
The play expands on the fairy tale by giving more background on the grievances of Rumpelstiltskin, played with a nice blend of creepiness and sympathy by Thomas Anawalt), and the moral conundrum faced by the captive young woman (Amy Frey). This backstory gives more depth and texture to the fairy tale and poses some interesting questions about truth and ethical relativism.
On the Eve
closes July 22, 2018
Details and tickets
Next we get to explore the path not taken. What if Romeo and Juliet debated their options and didn’t accept so the Friar’s plan for them so easily?
Finally, we meet Joan of Arc with the hesitant French Dauphin who is on the verge of being crowned King Charles VII thanks to Joan’s successes.
All three stories are well-acted and presented in a dark fashion (literally and figuratively) with scene changes set to dramatic classical religious music.
On the Eve offers an interesting alt-history perspective to some familiar stories. It’s an approach that could have borne more fruit in a lengthier telling and/or a more closely linked sets of stories. Nonetheless, it is a thoughtful, well-acted work that more than earns its place in the Fringe Festival.
On the Eve by Amy Frey. Directed by Melissa Frey. Featuring Thomas Anawalt and Amy Frey. Presented by Has.No.Name.Theatre. Reviewed by Steven McKnight.