Colombian estate-owners Carmen (Anne Lacey) and Agustino (Lewis Howden) think they have a foolproof plan to save them from their revolting peasants, in this witty production of Esteban Navajas Cortes’ A Dead Man’s Dying, adapted and directed by Davey Anderson.
As Carmen kneels in penitence before the body of her husband, laid out as stiffly as the bull horns above their marital bed, she thinks their plan has fooled loyal workers Benigno (Barrie Hunter) and Otilia (Mairi Morrison) as they join her in their devotions to the ‘late’ landowner.
But, as the plan is revealed, fear and doubt creeps in; and the question of who is really fooling who rears its horns.
This is an extrememly enjoyable 50 minutes of one-act theatre, helped no end by Howden and Lacey’s performances. As their past is unfurled, via a drunken re-enactment of their wedding feast, their true nature is also exposed; yet the actors succeed in still making us care about their plight, due to some well-played scenes of tenderness between them.
Hunter and Morrison, though getting less stage time, are also strong, letting their masks of obedience slip as the piece moves towards its climax; and Anderson’s adaptation succeeds in not only evoking the passion of its characters, but also the darkly ridiculous nature of the situation they find themselves in.
Further information and booking details are available on the Traverse website.