Fringe review: The Pen and The Sword
The lighter side of terrorism...
Written by 2008 Prague Post Playwriting Contest Audience Award winner Jeff Kellner, “The Pen and The Sword” tells the story of a political cartoonist who has enflamed the Moslem world with a satirical cartoon; receiving a death sentence from an extremist cleric. The exact nature of the cartoon is unspecified much like the play itself which seems more concerned about high-jacking the situation for the inherent opportunities to preach quasi-philosophical stereotypes about religion, intolerance, government policy and unscrupulous entertainment industry power-brokers. Hampered by the sophomoric script is the charming Adam Stewart in the central role of the cartoonist, James Obrasky. Despite the fact that the script seemed unaware of his impending death ala a profusely bleeding foot, Stewart does his admirable best to keep the energy and momentum going. After an almost promising but overlong set-up with an outsourced phone operator from Wisconsin (Nicole Grisco) the script comes to a grinding halt on the entrance of director Peter Hosking’s Inspector Monk and gets even more bogged-down by the entrance of James Lambert’s slick literary agent Nick Shine. James’ father (Gerry Turner) makes an appearance and his two scenes feel tacked-on and superfluous. The former a totally out of context bit of farce and the latter an unaffecting and unnecessary lecture on how his son always liked to cause trouble even as a boy.
The highlight of the play is the scene between James and his Moslem friend Roger (played with ease by Antaress Felken) as they debate the moral correctness of both the cartoon and the decision James must make regarding it—however the play has no distinct point of view on this subject and so adds nothing new to the debate. One has the feeling the actors and the director did the best with what they could—perhaps Hosking, although adept in eliciting engaging performances, could have allowed the actors to simply sit and talk more and not burden them with the necessity of walking around the room for the sake of visual variety—however the script is an idea for a play not a play. “The Pen and The Sword” bears a slight resemblance to the political awareness of “Public Relations”, Kellner’s previous success dealing with the Iraqi war, but at twice the length of that play, the flaws and holes are readily apparent and like much of the new writing of this Festival, it could have used another draft or two before public presentation. The play closes Monday.
Video on YouTube
Czech-Chinese dance work to premiere at Archa by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Divadlo Archa)
Ordinary People finds similar life stories in dancers from different countries
Festival Spectaculare starting fourth edition by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The multi-genre festival will bring electronic and ambient music and more
Dave Johns will be live in Prague by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The British comedian will be at a downtown movie theater for one show only
Slav Epic seen by 400,000 by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Prague City Gallery)
Cycle of paintings will now go to Asia for a tour
The Cremator by Národní Divadlo - The Estates Theatre
Spalovač mrtvol (orig. Czech titel) by Ladislav Fuks
Paintings of Havel open at DOX by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Martin Polák)
A new cycle of 10 paintings by Tomáš Císařovský chronicle the late president's life
Kids Riot as a Surrealist Reflection of Today’s Society by Marya Oliynyk - Anglo American University (Foto: Fotograf Gallery)
Permanent Transformation @ Fotograf Gallery, until 17th of December
Prague 7 seeks to be an art district by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Továrna)
A new plan will encourage cooperation among institutions
Three Tales @ The New Stage by National Theatre Opera (Foto: Hana Smejkalová)
by Beryl Korot & Steve Reich
Giant airship installed over Prague's DOX Centre by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Dox - FB)
Wooden zeppelin named Gulliver is a place for art and literature discussion
Catsit.cz® provides cat sitting services in Prague. Other...
... the real luxury is actually waiting for you on your...
Feel the rhythm and party to the biggest hits of the 80’s!
Petra Měchurová Hair Salon right in the historical center...
First diamonds museum in Prague
Trabant Museum @ STK Motol
Armádní muzeum Žižkov
Národní památník hrdinů heydrichiády