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By R. Eli Townsend
Special to The PREVIEW
The Thingamajig Theatre Company opens its 2013-2014 season with a poetic allegory set in 1665, that reflects issues still relevant today.
The many fingers of the play “One Flea Spare” slip into your chest cavity and squeeze your heart hard. In the claustrophobic confines of the theatre (arranged this time to accentuate the marvelous set), you find yourself sitting inside the prison of a 17th century house, condemned to quarantine for 28 days as the Great Plague ravishes all outside.
Your co-confined are an unlikely bunch and the days tie them together, forcing them to peel back their social conditioning.
Mr. and Mrs. Snelgrave (Terry Alan Evans and Desiree Henderson) are rich and repressed. Morse (Melissa Cheffers) is “old inside,” a 12-year-old with a vivid imagination. Bunce (David Menich) is a poor sailor with a life as tough as the 17th century could dish out.
Through a continuous lyrical swirl of text, the prisoners’ voices intertwine as they enter a delirious awakening of their most basic selves, each piercing the other in different forms. Class, compassion, power and prejudice are stripped naked in the face of impending death.
The performances are searing and raw — expected from an experienced cast. Tim Moore directs vitality into the play, but it is surely the great playwright, political writer and poet Naomi Wallace’s voice that gives it its punch. It’s the first professional staging in Colorado and the play doesn’t fail to resonate.
Other previewers in attendance at a recent dress rehearsal described Thingamajig Theatre Company’s production of the play as, “one of their best — gritty, sensual, inventive and intense.”
It is, indeed, all of the above, and as you are swept up in its hysterical crescendo you can’t help but feel glad to be living in this time.
You will walk out shocked and rattled, but it is worth every moment. This play is superb.
Thingamajig Theatre Company presents “One Flea Spare” rated R (mature themes) Oct. 10-27 at Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts.
For tickets and further information, visit www.pagosacenter.org or call 731-SHOW.