Ajax in Iraq Review: Michael Bettencourt, OffOffOnline

(Photo: Isaiah Tanenbaum. Pictured: Stephen Conrad Moore)

I’m falling a wee bit behind on these! For those who don’t want to wait, go on and read That Sounds Cool, Flavorpill, and Theatre is Easy. I hope to respond to all three before the end of the week.
Michael Bettencourt from OffOffOnline is our fifth review, and our third mixed review in a row (never fear, Flux lovers, we have two raves to look forward to). This review echoes some of the concerns of the past two, questioning the earnestness of intention and complexity of structure. One insight I found particularly interesting, however, is the idea that A.J. and Ajax’s stories are incompatible due to the differing political contexts of the Iraq and Trojan War.
I don’t believe that’s true, primarily because A.J. and Ajax are not thematically united by their relationship to their wars at a political level, but at a personal, primal one. Both are betrayed by a commanding officer; both commit atrocities as a result; both find the madness of those acts invalidate their core identities; and both arrive at the same epiphany and solution. The political differences in how wars were fought is not the animating force of these core stories, though it is certainly a central theme of the play as a whole. What do you think?
Thankfully, there’s a some positive in this review, as well, and my favorite quote is:
Will Lowry’s set (a map of the area covered by sand, broken concrete blast walls) and Kia Roger’s lighting are superb, as is Asa Wember’s sound design.
I couldn’t agree more: the level of work our design and production team accomplished at the level of resources Flux has is…well, superb.
Want to see for yourself? Read the whole thing here, then get your tickets here, and then leave your own thoughts on the play here.

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