Title: Blackbird
Author: David Harrower

A short one-act play; easily finished in less than 2 hours. When the word “End” on Italic comes up, one can’t help but half-shamefully wonder: “Is that it?”

What is it, then? 27-year-old Una reunites with 55-year-old Ray fifteen long years after the bitter, and mysterious, end of their somewhat abnormal,to say the least, relationship. Set in the office break room; two protagonists; conversations.

That simplicity in the narrative is what struck me at first; then it’s the language. The dialogues are so weird—sentences so disjointed—they’re almost non-human. Forming a complete sentence could be said to represent an almost insurmountable obstacle for the two characters. A way, lazy though, to communicate the miscommunications between modern-day humans, and to express their inefficiency, if not inability, to express oneself.

It touches upon more subjects than one would imagine with this limited text. One’s fairly sensitive and provocative: pedophilia. Others, such as holding on to and letting go of the past, attachment and detachment (romantic but also social in this case) and the like, are themes already widely explored in literature.

But that is IT. It gives you just enough food for thought, but not too much to guide you towards decision and conclusion. I found that ambiguity brilliant. It’s no moral cautionary tale. Who’s right or wrong? What’s allowed or forbidden? What’s true or fictitious? One has only little clue.


– By Irwin


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