Writer: Lyle Kessler
Director: Lee Brock
The Barrow Group’s current production, Perp, by Lyle Kessler, American playwright, screenwriter and actor, best known internationally for Orphans, the play he wrote in 1983.
Perp is the story of a vicious killer on the loose and the kindhearted Douglass (Ali Arkane) finding himself the unwitting target of detectives, played by Tricia Alexandro and Paul Ben-Victor, who need a win at any cost. Desperate to seek justice, Douglass sets out on a harrowing, fantastical quest to find the true perpetrator. Rounding out the cast is Javier Molina as Harry and Craig Mums Grant as Myron, who superbly plays an almost spiritual advisor to the naïve Douglass.
Besides the usual Law and Order-type detectives, the overall execution of Perp is well done. Although some of the characters come off as one-dimensional, the talent of the actors compensates for any shortcomings in the writing. Kessler is great at interspersing quips that break up any seemingly extended periods of banter.
The problem area is the quandary as to why Myron doesn’t take his own advice. He is sure to be a free man if he does. And why is Douglass able to quickly, within minutes, convince a murderer to see the “light”-and avoid being murdered himself to boot?
Edward T. Morris’s scene design is sleek and efficient. Also, the great direction by Lee Brock (co-artistic director of the Barrow Group) and the acting, this production of Perp is a worthwhile ninety minutes of indulgence.
Runs until 11 April 2019 | Image: Edward T Morris