Fool For Love

Margaret Helman
8th Jan 2019

The creative team for this production have squeezed every drop of juice from this play’s text and created a powerful performance.

The drama Fool For Love was written as part of a trilogy by playwright /actor Sam Shepard in 1983. It was listed as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in l984.

The setting: A spare, poorly furnished room in a rundown motel in the Mojave Desert in South Western America. The action focuses on May (Kate Betcher) and Eddie (Lachlan Ruffy). The play opens to reveal May curled up in a foetal position on the floor desperate to escape from Eddie. And he has found her. They have known each other since childhood and been in and out of a love relationship for years. It was that kind of love brought about by two people - both hurting - trying to escape their family past of violence and alcoholism and vulnerability. The tension rises and we witness May - a physically beautiful young woman, try to level up to Eddie. He’s quick on the draw with his powerful gun and a lasso that he swings around the ends of May’s old metal bed frame. A demonstration of violence being more powerful than words and Eddie used it to get back what you wanted.

At this stage in the action the set comes into play. The designer David Jeffrey produced a maze not unlike a timber cattle pen on the tiny, narrow stage and from the rear an old bearded man (Neil McLeod) moves through the cattle run and joins May and Eddie centre stage - a spirit from their collective past. He is their father, full of denial about his alcoholism, his adultery and the rough and tumble life they lived that has shaped who they have become.

May has found another bloke. Martin (Noel Horwood) turns up in time to witness the scene.

This is drama set on stage at its finest.

Until 12 January at Limelight On Oxford. Director: Julie Baz