The Island of No Time
Review by Jen Bush
To New Yorkers, time is a precious commodity. It’s a fast-paced city and it’s best to keep up. Imagine a place where time stood still. Aging would not be a concern. Deadlines would be non-existent, and you wouldn’t have to rush to get to anywhere. In The Island of No Time, that is just the case.
The Island of No Time is an adult fairy tale takes place on an uncharted island. Father and Mother Time no longer gave each other the time a day via a divorce. This had a negative domino effect on the inhabitants of the island and on time itself which has come to a halt. Their children; Hour, Minute and Second are stressed because they no longer have a job. On another part of the island, a nefarious plan is in motion by two witches. They would like to get their hands on two shipwrecked children who made their way to the island. These witches are 999 years old. Once they reach 1000, they will die, unless they can get the children to eat a trail of plants that lead directly to the witches. At that time, they will occupy the children’s bodies and live on to rule the island. It is in the witches’ best interests to keep Father and Mother Time remain separate so that time will not start up again causing their ultimate demise. Did the witches prevail or did Father and Mother Time carve out some time for each other once more? Well if you’ve got some time, you can see the show and find out.
This was an interesting show. It’s fun to have a show run wild with fairy tale fodder aimed at adults. The dialogue fluctuated between poetry and straight dialogue. Some of the show had a Shakespearean feel to it. The show was comedic and saucily salacious, especially when the witches were involved. Puns, mostly about time were ubiquitous and every one of them worked beautifully. Usually puns elicit groans, but these were cunning and elicited a lot of laughter. The dialogue was well crafted, juxtaposing the finest words in the English language, but it was too verbose. The monologue at the end given by Father Time was delivered with deep passion and conviction using meaningful words but it was so long and wordy that it was difficult to maintain attention. Perhaps cutting some dialogue without compromising the integrity of the show is a possibility for future productions. The character of Mother Time was slightly confusing. Her dialogue seemed to indicate that she fit the description of Mother Nature. Perhaps she was Mother Time because she took her husband’s last name.
The cast was an outstanding ensemble of talent. Not a slouch in the group. Each member of that cast gave it their all.
An absolute standout was Sam Underwood who played Badass Rabbit. When he came on stage the energy shifted in a wonderful way. Time stood still, pun fully intended. He was so brilliant and engaging that it was impossible to focus on anyone or anything but him. Not surprisingly, he has several hit shows under his belt including and currently, Fear of the Walking Dead. I’m sure no one’s ever heard of it! The individual playing his love interest Bob Jester was knee slappingly funny as Natterjack Toad. He played it in a wonderfully over the top campy way and nailed it. The siblings Anna and Dylan delightfully played by Rosalie Neal and Aidan Hart went from convincingly innocent to convincingly demented in the blink of an eye. The witches, Deliadeath and Adamort were played deliciously by Kate Mueth and Rosie McGuire. They really put themselves out there.
Father time was a lofty role with expansive dialogue. Rinde Eckert took it on like a champ and did an equally good turn with a different accent mind you as Papa. Isabel Keating was a joy as Mother Time. She brought forth a strong independent character with grace and fine dramatic timing. She too donned another accent and did a fine job as Mama. Amanda Jones also had double duty as Crotchety Cat and The Queen of Stink and she did a great job of distinguishing the characters. Michael Doonan did very well delivering some fractured dialogue as Nutty Tree. Two Trees played by Peter McRobbie gave a solid performance as a convincing elder tree. Second, Minute and Hour were adorably played by Patrick Moore, Dave Quay and Peter Gonzales.
This was a staged reading. When the time comes, make some time to see The Island of No Time. It will be time well spent. The puns, they’re contagious! I could go on but I’m out of time.