Blackout is Lolita Productions debut on the Ottawa theatre scene about a 15-year old boy who is charged with attempted murder, yet cannot seem to remember the event.
Should you see it?
Blackout is a true story. Whose story? I have no idea and the premise doesn’t help make it believable by any means. Let me set the stage for you. A lone narrator takes the stage and starts to dictate everything that is happening on stage. Holy Batman is there ever a lot of exposition. The narrator spends the show telling the audience what to think and feel and to put themselves in the shoes of the main character, James.
Now James is in jail. He has no idea why he is there, but suddenly, he remembers. And that’s basically the story. We go back through James’ memories of how he was a bullied Goth kid who then decided out of the blue to become a Nazi, who then tried to murder someone.
The fact that we’re being asked: “what would you do?” throughout this show while being told what we should be thinking and feeling is extremely manipulative, especially since I can guarantee you none of the audience members first thought of what to do would be to go and become a skinhead Nazi and buy a sword.
This play lacks any sense of realism and its huge cast comes across as wooden and hollow. Every movement feels forced, every line feels rehearsed. It plays itself out as that a play, and nothing more. There is little to no transcendence in this show, there is not enough content to truly allow the audience member to create their own thoughts or emotions.
While the premise has the potential to be interesting, the execution and ultimately the content of this play are just not there. I kept thinking that this play could work as a one man show, a collection of random memories that this young man gets to explore more deeply and create a much more in depth and interesting character study. The extraneous characters don’t allow any character to fully develop or allow the story to move anywhere. All in all while the cast may have been a strong cast, none of them got a chance to do anything because the play itself has absolutely nothing going for it.
What did you think of Blackout? Was there any character you were able to identify or connect with? What stood out about that character to you? Join the discussion in the comments below.