The Killing of Sister George: In brief
TACT/The Actors Company Theatre revives Frank Marcus's caustically sensationalistic 1964 English drama, shocking at the time for its frank depiction of the nasty butch-femme love triangle of a drunken television star, her younger girlfriend and a sharkish network executive. Drew Barr directs.
The Killing of Sister George: Theater review by Christopher Kompanek
Frank Marcus’s rarely performed, absurd and pitch-black The Killing of Sister George sits in an unsettling space between farce and drama, often compelling but unseasonably dry. The play depicts beloved BBC radio actor June Buckridge (played with steely fortitude by Caitlin O’Connell) in a volatile long-term relationship that vacillates between sadistic power play and downright abuse. Despite answering to her character’s name off-air, “George” is anything but the selfless nun she plays, and as her career becomes threatened by a drunken altercation, she veers even further from piety. Drew Barr’s sharp revival for TACT/The Actors Company Theatre mines the complexity of this schizoid character. Between swills of gin, she belittles and barks orders at her girlfriend, Alice (played with childish charm by Margot White), who submits—sometimes eagerly but often with a terrifying reluctance. The murkiness of consent creates an uneasy complicity for the audience that quickens into the lifeblood of the play, giving Marcus’S unadorned dialogue a greater vivacity.—Theater review by Christopher Kompanek
THE BOTTOM LINE While hardly divine, Sister George resonates.