Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium’s presentation of Jean Anouilh’s Time Remembered runs February 6-March 4, 2018. I’ve been sitting in on some of the absurdist theater company’s rehearsals, sketching and liking what I see.
We settle into a country side manor where unusual personalities come out of the wood work, and surround an indecisive prince. Or is it all a part of his imagination? Ashton Carter as the prince plays a godly personae, and the illusion of some kind of mythological, and ideal world takes form around him. This ideal place is a make-believe world inspired by nature. His relationships with the people around him and the established reality are orchestrated by his over protective aunt. Details about the characters give shape to a mythical landscape or feudal system. We follow Katherine Perry as she becomes the Duchess to the Prince. She enters the unknown nature of the prince’s delusion.
The cost of things and the cost of love get mismatched in the prince’s mind. This is Anouilh’s joking manner: there is a dancing transaction of skills and strengths for money. This monetized compliment to any occupation is hilarious. The futile role of Duchess or Queen, or king or Duke are roles that are not natural, but they are part of a futile system.
The relationship of nature in the play is animated by these personalities. The prince desires the old Duchess, but there is a new love. The closer the emotions reach this realization in the sensual world the more clear their relation has become.
[Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium at Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5, 825 Walnut Street] February 6-March 4, 2018; idiopathicridiculopathyconsortium.org