Far Away | The Charnel House | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Far Away New Review (Theater and Comedy) The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Dec. 1-11 2011

Caryl Churchill's harsh, brilliant 2000 play follows a young woman named Joan as she makes her oddly insular way through an appalling world. We first see her as a kid, asking her aunt about the bloody beatings she saw Uncle giving some people in the shed. Don't worry, she's told, it's for a good cause. After that, both the horror and the absurdity escalate until we're hearing dialogue about how the Canadians, Venezuelans, and mosquitoes have formed a military alliance to deal with the French and the cats, the Japanese and the weather. Picture the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup as rewritten by, say, Eugene Ionesco: hilarious, cryptic, and pitch black. Nate Silver's production for Winterfall Chicago has moments of charm and considerable intelligence, though setting two scenes in the Charnel House's tiny lobby is a logistical mistake and Baize Buzan's performance as Joan is also a moments-of sort of thing. —Tony Adler

Price: $5-$12


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