Crash Landing Productions

presents

SAFETY

By CHRIS THORPE

Urban Stages, 259 W. 30 St., NYC, January 20 Ė February 12, 2006

 

Directed by DAISY WALKER

Sets KEVIN JUDGE

Lighting PATRICIA NICHOLS

Costumes KEVIN CHRISTIANA

Sound SAMUEL DOERR

Stage Manager KATIE AILINGER

Publicity JIM BALDASSARE

Cast

Michael Ė David Wilson Barnes

Tanya Ė Susan Molloy

Susan Ė Katie Firth

Sean Ė Jeffrey Clarke

They are in the news a lot, war correspondents, but how much does the average person think about what it must be like to be the person who chooses to enter battle zones to report back to the rest of us? Going further, what must it be like to be a war photographer? What kind of person can do it, and does it change them? These are just a few of the questions raised in SAFETY.

Meet Michael, a philandering photographer growing apart from his wife, Susan, and so detached from the reality of tragedy that he stands frozen as his daughter, Alice, almost drowns. This plot twist introduces the hero, Sean, who saved Alice after noting Michaelís inaction. Not surprising then that Michael is hostile when Sean comes over for dinner and drinks at Susanís request. In the ensuing moral battle, the seemingly simple Sean seems to gain the upper hand, seeing nothing but death in Michaelís purportedly famous and strikingly composed images. Over and over, mainly via journalist and paramour Tanya, we are told how notable Michael is for his photos. I suppose this is meant to add significance to the moral and psychological SAFETY universe, but all the pomp does not add to the plot.

In fact, most of the characters that populate SAFETY do not have much depth to them at all. They serve to point out or solicit comments about Michaelís demeanor, but they themselves function as little else. What was impressive here was the design. The set is stark in white, suggestive of the black and white photographs Michael is famous for, but more so the colorless world his life has devolved into. The costumes, lighting and props only enhance this effect.

As story, I didnít love SAFETY, but I didnít hate it either. What I did feel was a sense of disappointment. Some witty repartee, interesting monologues and philosophical dialogue made me anticipate a provocative resolution, but the secrets that are ultimately revealed seem so anticlimactic and even unsurprising that they did not impact the audience the way they ought to have.

- Kessa De Santis -

Archives    Listings