Catherine & Anita is a powerful & flippant piece of theatre. The brainchild of American writer/director Derek Ahonen, he has chosen as his mouth-piece the electric watch that is Sarah Roy, a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Together, they tell the story of Catherine & her invisible friend, an idealised & actualised symptom of her madness, who supports her through both the childhood causes of her madness & the inevitable fall-out in her later, adult life.
I don’t want to talk about the story too much, as a prior knowledge to events would deflect somewhat from the intensity of the dramatic interplay between the audience member & Roy’s ruminatingly, chin-strokingly decisive performance. All I can say is that the multi-layered plot peels off like an onion in an exquisitely smooth progress throughout Ahonen’s worldscape.
As Roy chitters away through all her angsty girliness, we become almost as one with Catherine, so powerful is the acting. I cannot praise highly enough how bold this play is, when a make-believe best friend becomes a massive, almost tangible presence on the stage – a rare feat which seemed easy putty in the hands of Roy.
Indeed, her gothic, slightly deranged, but unquestionably courageous performance was at first unpleasant & a little corrosive to observe, then increasingly superb as the plot levels clothed her & we began to understand what was going on. Both an exploration of insanity & an expose on the darker corners of the world we undoubtedly share, C&A is a fascinating foray into the theatrical demense, & one which should be applauded for both its bravery AND its quality.
Original Article: Mumble Theatre