I have got to say, this play was interesting and somewhat emotional. I could quite easily sense Joan’s fear. That was what I took from her character right away, she was afraid. Harper tried very hard to calm her down but the harder she tried the less successful she was. There were clearly things she did not want Joan to see but was honest with her when she did. She became sympathetic towards Joan.
What I took from Todd’s introduction was a lot of forced small talk, the awkward kind you make when you meet someone for the first time. I felt kind of a metaphor, but this may just be me. They were just talking a lot about strange hats, strange hats that carry the same level of awkwardness as their conversation.
Joan mentioned that she once made a giraffe hat, and I must inquire, does the above look good? If you think so then you should converse with Joan. I on the other hand felt as though she was a little awkward.
I also think it is interesting how they skip ahead in time. I am not entirely sure what the writer’s motives were behind this but it was interesting to see that the first time Todd and Harper share a scene together they are quite comfortable. They start out talking about pest removal and move into war metaphors.
I watched a performance that omitted the introduction of Todd and Joan and skipped to the final scene. That says to me that particular direction was intended to focus on the relationship between aunt and niece, as if it had a greater importance.
I heard from the actress’s tone that Harper was always very protective of Joan: “Poor girl, what a fright you must have had imagining you heard somebody screaming. You should have come straight down here to me.”
Ben Brantley, a very well-known critic from the New York Times had this to say: “You probably remember the sound from your childhood. It’s the soothing, singsong voice of an adult who is telling you, in the middle of a dark night, that there is nothing to be scared of. And as much you would like to believe that voice, you know, with a certainty that rests in the pit of your stomach, that you are being lied to.” That is quite accurately what I was thinking when I was reading the play. It seems to go back to the relationship between Joan and Harper, despite its length, that was a consistency.
As I said before I liked this play, I felt it was easy to relate to. We are all protected at one point or another. Like Joan we try not to feel constrained and then we learn far more than we ever counted on.
Brantley, Ben. “THEATER REVIEW; Where Trust Is Smothered By Violence.” NY times [New York] 12 Nov. 2002: n. pag. nytimes.com. Web. 27 Feb. 2012.
Churchill, Caryl. Far Away. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2001. Print.
” ‘Far Away’ by Caryl Churchill – YouTube .” YouTube – Broadcast Yourself. . N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PvFdR7kHuQ>.