By Jael Wong
Looking to indulge your lust for the dark and twisted? Mob Hit Productions has just the thing to whet your carnal appetite. From Wed., Mar. 31 through Sat., Apr. 10, the company will present The Ugly Man, a tale of sex, lust and revenge by Alberta playwright Brad Fraser.
The play puts a modern spin on Thomas Middleton’s The Changeling, a 17th century revenge tragedy, and though it originally premiered in Calgary, it has been relished by audiences in Brighton, London, Edinburgh, Brussels and New York. It tells the story of a disfigured man who finds work on a ranch where the people are perfect–at first glance anyway. It isn’t long before their dark natures are manifested.
The play was last performed in Calgary by One Yellow Rabbit, which played the script for laughs.
Theatregoers can expect something very different with Mob Hit at the helm.
"This production is a lot grittier," says director Larissa Innes. "What intrigued me about the play were the issues it dealt with. We are a society obsessed with image and this play asks ‘what’s beauty? What’s ugly? How far can you push people before they show their ugly side?’
"It’s a twisted, tragic drama. It’s a black comedy, the funny parts tend to be more black and twisted."
So can audiences hope for a morbid sort of pleasure from watching this play?
"People will definitely appreciate and relate to the characters," says Innes. "They will relate to the fact that they are not the only people who have these thoughts and feelings. At the same time, people can have these thoughts and not react in such ways. In this play, we are shown beautiful people who have money but take it for granted. They don’t appreciate what they have, and we get to watch their downfall. It just goes to show that we all have darker thoughts.
"We live in a generation in which we’re used to seeing fast action and tragedy. People usually think of theatre as being very proper and The Ugly Man is theatre, but it also takes you on a ride."
The Ugly Man runs Wed., Mar. 31 through Thu., Apr. 10 at the Pumphouse Theatres. For ticket information, call 283-7725