The main idea of this play, ‘The Voice of Turtles’ was finding truth and comfort in love despite the difficulties. That sounds similar to the main idea of my 1st critique’s play, ‘Romeo & Juliet’ but compare to that, this play was lighter and softer. This play took its setting in the main character Sally Middleton’s (Kate Woodruff) apartment in New York City, in 1943, and it was displayed well through their comforts and passionate times in the apartment.
There were three characters in the play: Sally Middleton, Olive Lashbrooke, Bill Page. Sally Middleton was played by an actress named Kate Woodruff, and she was the only character who was in the beginning and the end. First, she started as a girl who had a little knowledge about things in this world, but as she met Bill and spent more and more time with him, she began to realize certain things and eventually acknowledges her true love, Bill. Kate Woodruff’s acting style expressing obtuseness and vulnerability perfectly fitted with Sally. However, Bill Page, who was performed by Jim Felton, was not developed well enough to capture the audience. I understood that Bill was the character who was optimistic and learned a lot through his experiences during the WWII, but he was not sharp enough to express that “well-experienced soldier” type of a guy.
I could feel that he became more lovable and passionate towards the end, but it seemed like he didn’t fully understand his character. But Olive Lashbrooke, who was played by Lisa Perez, was another well developed character. She was the only character who had a major switch in her attitude in the middle of the play because she had a suspicion about the relationship between her friend Sally and “ex-lover” Bill. However, Lisa Perez does it really well with the consistent in the character by clearly displaying arrogant and flirtatious behaviors, and that consistent also gave reliability to the audience.
The plot of play expanded with the timeline of late afternoon Friday to Sunday night, and although it was a short period of time, the story was comprehensibly displayed. It started with a basic idea that Bill and Olive were seeing each other, but Olive broke up with him at Sally’s house when he comes over, so Olive left her house. Bill had no one to spend time with and Sally was available so two of them spent time together. Olive became suspicious about the relationship between Sally and Bill, so she visits Sally tries to win Bill back but Bill denies. Bill fell in love with Sally, who was unsure about the relationship. But Bill convinced her to work together in their relationship and Sally agrees at the end.
Considering that happy end, there were few situations where it displayed opposite signs that their relationship might not work. There was a scene where Olive tried to interrupt the relationship between Sally and Bill, which caused Sally to think their relationship might be bad for her friendship with Olive. Also Sally was tired of promiscuous life and did not want to involve deeply with Bill. These situations made the play more appealing, which all worked out well at the end.
The setting of the play, which was Sally’s apartment, helped her character to be more understandable. As I mentioned above, in the beginning part of the play, Sally started as a girl who had a little knowledge about this world, and this apartment setting made it looked like she spends most of her time in her apartment. Also it was her apartment that created an environment to be comforter and more honest for Sally.
There was an emotional change of Olive when she became suspicious about the relationship between Sally and Bill, and in the scene where she came back to win Bill back, Olive wore an awful fur clothes. In many plays and films, fur clothes are usually wore by greedy and deceptive women and that costume added more to Olive’s characteristic. It was an interesting thing to see because they were explaining her characteristic through costume rather than words. Just like Olive’s costume, all other features of the play worked together very well to support the play.
For example, the light, which shined on Bill’s face when he looked out the window, was supposed to be the moonlight, and it was amazing. He could just act like he was looking out the window, but when that light shined on his face, it just made me to think that I was in the apartment. Also the warm light on the set tied the apartment together and created a cozy feeling.
I felt performances of Sally and Olive were great but not Bill’s performance. Most of the time, Sally—performed by Kate Woodruff—looked comfortable and I think she intended to do that because the setting was her apartment. Her actions, such as the way she sit on her couch, cooking in the kitchen, and even her walks all seemed like what a woman in 20’s would be at home. Also when she was listening to Sally and Bill saying what happened outside of the apartment,—which is this world—she expressed her curiosity and interests with her facial expressions such as her eyes getting bigger and blinking her eyes quickly. Those performances told us that she had a lot to experience and learn from this world.
On the other hand, Olive—performed by Lisa Perez—experienced a lot outside of the apartment, and used the high-pitched voice that helped her cocky and funny character. However the performance of Bill—played by Jim Felton—was not enough to express the character and generate interests. He was trying hard but I just could not sympathize with his lines. But overall, it was a good play. The audiences’ seats were so close to the stage and I really enjoyed being close to the characters.
Courtney from Study Moose
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