Terminus

Terminus is utterly unlike any play I have seen before. It tells an amazing story of spirits, treachery, guilt and murder. The story is told by three alternating narrators, none of whom have names. They are listed in the programme as “A” “B” and “C.” Each of them performs monologues that make up an interconnected story. They tell their stories in a really fantastic way. Each of them narrates there monologue in a lyrical way reminiscent of slam poetry. The most impressive element to this is that in narrating these stories, they also have to inhabit other characters than the narrator, and are not only able to do this, but are able to keep the one character who speaks in two different characters’ stories totally consistent in their voice and mannerisms.

The set design is very simple but also very impressive. There is a web of material surrounding a small raised platform which the narrator speaks from. In a different play, this might end up being constraining. However, in this play the characters utterly dominate the small space they’re given, their words reaching out and grabbing the audience.

The acting is absolutely amazing. “A” is played by Sarah Dodd. “A” is a guilt-ridden mother and teacher who, upon hearing that one of her former students is pregnant and in a lot of trouble, rushes to help her. Dodd really captures the characters sadness at how events in her past have turned out, while also doing a great job at showing the characters’ anger and consternation at some of the events that are unfolding. Although the characters’ sadness is more apparent in some scenes, there are a lot of scenes where her grief is still present but is more subtle and buried. She is also a great physical actress. This can be seen in the parts of the play where she is attacked by the other characters, and her mimed reactions to the physical attack are extremely realistic, despite the fact that she is alone onstage.

Nicola Elbro plays “B”, a lonely young woman who, after going to an ill-fated party, befriends a demon. Elbro gives an energetic performance as the events surrounding her become more and more fantastical. She really captures the bitterness that her character feels at the beginning of the story and the newfound joy she finds as it goes on, as well as her fear as events that are out of her control take place. She also performs a secondary character, the demonic soul searching for its treacherous body. The voice that she uses for the character, as well the fantastic dialogue, make the soul a very memorable character.

This paragraph contains a minor spoiler if you have read the advertising for the play, you will already know about this, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Adam Lazarus plays “D”, a frustrated loner who has sold his soul to the devil in exchange for a beautiful singing voice but has found that he is still too shy to use it. Now being filled with frustration and bitterness, he has become a traveling serial killer who chiefly murders women. His performance is especially compelling because when the character first appears he seems timid, even sweet. When he reveals his true self to the audience, it is truly terrifying. His mixture of psychotic glee and the occasional, almost childlike petulance, makes him both entertaining and terrifying. What makes the character especially interesting is that despite his insane nature, he has moments of clarity about how the world around him that make him doubly fascinating.

Terminus is a high-quality, lyrical urban fantasy with a beautiful script and wonderful acting. It will play for two more days. You should buy a ticket at the earliest opportunity.

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