Day 9 finds us with three stories that explore loss and coming to grips with it in unexpected ways.
All three stories of Day 9 were complex emotionally and featured the movement-based theatre and stage combat Synetic’s artists are known for. This was a cathartic viewing.
Joseph McAlonan’s story, based on “Day 10, Story 3,” introduces us to a young man who is angry and bitter. We don’t know why, but he clearly blames someone else for his woes. He envisions ways to murder a man known for being generous and welcoming, his anger finding a focal point. He wanders through his half-built or falling-down house and picks up various implements that he can see himself using as a weapon, including a velvet rope to strangle the man, and a huge double-edged axe (very Lord of the Rings-looking). In each of the scenarios he plots out, the man engages in hand-to-hand combat with his would-be victim. This story shines in its use of stage combat and physical movement. Finally, he decides on a spanner and makes his way to the man’s house where something totally unexpected happens. This piece offers a catharsis from rage to hope and is beautifully filmed in about three minutes. It’s an impressive work. Raymond McAlonan plays the victim.
Catherine Nunez came up with a really creative way to populate her story, based on “Day 6, Story 7,” by using household implements as her husband and her lover. Filippa is in her 241st day of quarantine and decides to run away with her love. Her enraged husband decides to burn her to death. The story is also unexpectedly comical with her tussles with the vacuum cleaner, i.e., her husband. Her lover, a hot pink floor mop, leads her into lyrical dances in the garden, where she channels her inner Fred Astaire as she dances with him. Nunez is a fine dancer and she also has very long, thick hair that is almost a character in itself. The ending has an unexpected twist that surprises even here. This was a very graceful, comedic turn and definitely captured how quarantine with someone else when you can NEVER GET AWAY FROM THEM can play with your mind. She accomplish this in a compact seven minutes. Music and editing were by Isaac Muñoz and assistance from Soraya Padrao.
Scott Brown, who based his take on “Day 3, Story 1,” is a young man leading his “perfect” life. Then it all falls apart. He loses his job, his fiancée leaves, and he is left rudderless. Nevertheless, he starts job hunting, and answers an ad for The Gardener at a private housing estate. Let’s just say that he discovers he’s very good at gardening. Brown’s portrayal of a man who rebuilds his confidence and self-esteem due to an unexpected job requirement (must come under the heading of “other duties as assigned”) is delightfully tongue-in-cheek. Plus, he finds a better companion than his former fiancée—a loyal black Lab mix. His story shows us that being even the least bit willing to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and letting go of the past can have so many rewards. Cinematography was by Peter Pereyra. The piece also featured Jessica McCreight and Lily the Dog. Special thanks to Peter Pereyra, The Schindler Ct. Crew, and Synetic Theater. Brown ran himself ragged in 12 minutes but he was smiling for most of it.
In Day 9’s final installment, Ann Flowers based her take on “Day 4, Story 7” and it is a parable adapted specifically for this pandemic. A woman is separated from her husband and her longing and loneliness are very physical for her—she paces, she wears his shirt and tears it off, she hydrates (a lot), she walks in the dark outside, and every day, she ceremoniously crosses this long, lonely day off.
Finally, she doesn’t have to do that—there is that long-awaited knock at the door. He’s back. But when she opens the door and launches at him, he waves her down—he’s fully masked, gloved, and expects her to keep a six-foot distance. Things go awry from there—but in a very unexpected way.
This piece clearly shows how being thrust into a situation that upends your world affects your rational mind and your emotions— and the price for not taking the time to try to resolve that inner conflict. It’s an arresting piece of work. (This was piece was accidentally missed in the original review and, for that, my mea culpa to the creator and star, Anne Flowers).
The music was from bensound.com, and “special thanks to my love, Alan.” Running time was 10 minutes.
All of the stories were complex emotionally and featured the movement-based theatre and stage combat Synetic’s artists are known for. This was a cathartic viewing. And tomorrow, sadly, is Day 10, the final day.
Show Advisory: Softly lit nudity in the third video, along with sexual innuendo and one middle finger.
Running Time: The vignettes vary between 3-1/2 and 18 minutes.
“The Decameron” runs July 10 through July 31, 2020, on a pay-what-you-can basis. For the first 10 days, three shows will be released each day. For more information, please click here.