Far Away is by far the most strange play I have been subjected to. At first, the play seems like it would be normal, but when I looked at the first lines, I hefted the play in my hands and thought, “There is going to be something crazy about this, I just know it.” What I was thinking revolved around the idea of poetry. Poetry is the strongest of storytelling, invoking imagery and condensing life into lines of power that literally throw the reader into a new world. When I hefted the small booklet of the play, I was reminded that this play might get poetic. If by my saying poetic, I meant strange.
Here is a small snippet I found on youtube that was entertaining after experiencing (reading is too lite of a word for this) Churchhill’s Far Away.
After experiencing the play, I was hit with a couple of words that I felt would label this well. Oblique Imagery. The play was definately an acid trip on steriods. The play starts off nicely, if in a dark way, where Joan’s family is immersed in something less than good. This is probably the most normal portion of the play. Maybe. The poetic-acid trip started when I was regaled with the making of the hats. The hatmaking looked a lot like people making identities for people and feeling guilty about it, since those people they made the identities for were doomed to die. I wonder if this is what some of the officers working at concentration camps felt like? “TODD- You’ll find there’s a lot wrong with this place. JOAN- I thought it was one of the best jobs. TODD- It is. Do you know where to go for lunch?” (Churchill 2,1,lines 31-35).
Later, the feeling of oppression grows as Joan and Todd talk about ways out. “TODD- I might imply something without giving the journalist away. It might be better if he can’t trace the journalist back to me.” (Churchill, 2,4, lines 24-26). The journalist sounds like he could expose some great coverup, but there is that marked fear that keeps battered people afraid.
By the end of the play, the fear that Joan lives in is quite intense, as I got the feeling that she was afraid of where to even walk becuase the world itself, the people, the nature, everything was her percieved enemy. The play definately was a success. When I mean success, I am talking about the lasting feeling of the pure emotion that the last long lines left me with. I was gifted with a lingering party-in-my-head-acid trip.