Agatha Christie, although best known for her “who-dunnits”, is perhaps more entertaining for her “why-dunnits”. It’s the tiny snapshots of the individual characters that make the big picture make sense. And in the end, it is the piecing together of those small details that solves the mystery. Think Seinfeld.
Such is the case with her play, The Hollow, which is being staged by a local community theatre.
This little playhouse is a barrel of fun to go to, in that it has the feel of one of those rides at Disney World’s Epcot Center where not just your seat, but the entire group of people seated around you is conveyed to various vistas. I am thinking that this attraction involved large groaning dinosaurs in murkily prehistoric scenarios. At any rate, the net effect is that you develop a sort of esprit de corps with your
fellow audience members.
Although I personally prefer plays spoken in the actors’ own native accents, it would seem that many actors and directors enjoy the challenge of articulating their lines, with varying success and failure, in the accent of the play’s origin. Never understood this. I find it especially contrived when actors playing the roles of French people in France– who would be speaking French if they were really French– read their lines in English with a French accent. Mon dieu.
Who cares for gosh sakes?
Having said that, I will say that there are times when lines delivered a la Brit have a particular zing–especially if the character delivering them is decidedly balmy, as is the case with Christie’s ditsy character, Lucy Angkatell.
Lucy the Loose Cannon reliably provides comic relief like Old Faithful.
She delivered my own favorite line of the entire play when she walked into the living room with a lobster. Let me clarify–the creature was not a Disney lobster in that it did not sing nor did it provide its own locomotion, so what I mean to say is that she walks on stage with the lobster in hand. The gag is that everyone else is aware of the incongruity of the lobster, and she is oblivious until she suddenly notices it herself and demands, “What is this? And why is it in my hand?”
Haven’t we all had those moments? When we wonder why we came into the room, what it is we’re doing, and most of all, wonder what we were thinking? Sometimes we startle ourselves with our own choices.
All of us have had that moment of looking down and seeing a lobster, something that made sense at the time that makes no sense in our current state of mind.
It turned out that Lucy had found herself infatuated with the lobster’s color, and had wanted to see how it would look with the sofa cushions. Unfortunately though, between the time she had left Point A to get to Point B, she had forgotten her mission.
Sometimes in the hurly burly of things we forget to be mindful of what we are trying to do and what we are about– and sometimes I, too, have found myself with a lobster in my hand that no longer makes any sense.
In terms of the Wu Food Project, it has been especially beneficial to me have a clear mission and to know what should and should not be in the hand that is holding my fork–or chopstick.
I don’t want to be like Lady Lucy, who is not mindful, and who lives in a surprised state, perplexed by the results of her choices.
It’s a very serene and freeing feeling to understand yourself, to know exactly what you want to do, and then, to do it.