Grimes of the Borough: A Society Play

Warning: This review may contain spoilers.
Part of London Fringe Festival 2009
Based on the poems by George Crabbe
Adapted by Adam C. Holowitz
Directed by Adam C. Holowitz
Presented by AlvegoRoot Theatre Company
Costume Design by Becky Lenko
Musical Direction by Stephen Holowitz
Played by Jason Rip, Don Fleckser, Jordan Morris, Deborah Mitchell, Katie Paxman, Joel Dell, Andrew Richardson, Karen Winfield, Stephen Holowitz, Becky Lenko, Jack Sizeland
The Wolf Performance Hall
June 19–27, 2009

Holowitz does Fringe 2009 proud!

Adam Holowitz based his play on “The Borough,” a collection of twenty-four poems by George Crabbe, depicting a fishing village in northeast England. In his director’s note, Holowitz writes he “wanted to maintain the sensibility of a ‘love letter to the English countryside,’ as well as bringing out the darker elements that Crabbe alludes to in his writing.”

Mission accomplished, young man. The minimalistic set and lighting, wonderful costumes by Becky Lenko combined with Lenko’s improvisational fiddling certainly set the bleak atmosphere for this patron. So much so, that notwithstanding Peter Grimes’ (Jason Rip) cries of anguish, I almost got meself some shut eye, I did.

Holowitz’s clever writing prevented that from happening.

Dialogue such as,

“I have more to say!”
“But you lack an audience.”

And lines like,

“The trial is over but the voice of persecution goes on.”
“What could we be if it were not for love? We could be gods!”

…are witty and insightful.

It is my understanding that Holowitz assigned roles and didn’t audition his cast. Wisely, he knew he’d be able to set a tone and atmosphere by the mere presence of performers such as his mentor, Don Fleckser, who is outstanding. In fact, the tone of this production is set from the word go as the magnificent Deborah Mitchell as Mrs. Henningsham speaks her first words of self-righteous indignation.

Holowitz and Fringe 2009 should be proud of this production of Grimes of The Borough.