4/19/2013 2:47 PM
It seems a rare occasion on stages anywhere in North America that we allow our playwrights and directors to tempt the fates and bring on an otherworldly troupe: you know what I mean. After all, gremlins and goblins have skipped around in Disney movies for over eighty years.
Caryl Churchill however does not accept Happy, Dopey and the gang. Her fairies, gremlins and goblins are the real ones, the ones from ancient Celtic mythology and pre-Christian psychology that not only tied your hair into elf-locks but danced you until you died at hellish revels as well.
In The Skriker, one of these wild fairies is cast adrift in contemporary London and falls (in love?) with Josie, a young, pregnant teenage girl, abandoned by everyone except her equally unstable sister. Over the course of the play, The Skriker pursues Josie around the world, proposing deals, getting rich, losing it all and starting over again.
True, it would prove to be an immensely difficult play to stage for any director, new or old: The Skriker shifts shapes constantly, at one point becoming a couch. Environments and locations switch on a dime. But Churchill trusts in theatricality and the magic of theatre.
Electrifying, intense and hellishly loquacious The Skriker offers a visceral challenge to both artist and audience.