Another interpretation, not the first, and I daresay not the last, of the descent of Shakespeare’s Ophelia into madness and death. O Fallen One, attempted to put its unique stamp on the concept. Fairness and beauty has its price. In this version, a modern day Ophelia/Lia is callously and openly accused by her teenage boyfriend of being a sexual predator which sends her to attempted (teen) suicide and a mental institute for rehab. Interesting here is how she is still kept within the bonds of her societally mapped out feminine roles of how she should behave. But this Ophelia longs to emancipate herself from social morays. Her craziness is not self guilt but a logical step to liberty – at least in her mind. This Ophelia’s Hamlet/Henry, however, merely seems to be an angry, confused teenager reacting to slut shaming perpetrated by friends, as opposed to the rage that a classic Hamlet has against his mother being his uncle’s “whore” or Polonius’ underhanded power seeking purposes.
O Fallen One is an exhaustive effort that is exceedingly ambitious. The Hollywood Fringe is it’s world premiere. However, the cast and writing, although imbued with righteous cause and spirit of the characters and ideas, were not able to quite pull it together in a way that made total sense. It is a very young, unsophisticated cast with an obvious lack of life experience and that makes this particular show a challenge. It needs more breath. The devices of choreography and scrim shadows are interesting in concept, as is the entire work, which sincerely has potential, but its purpose and presentation, naive, and in need of much more development and elucidation.
They are a sweet cast and there were great moments. As a Fringe piece, it fits the bill. Very young audiences will no doubt find a connection with this piece. Don’t forget to tweet it: @OFallenOne, #LAthtr, #hff13, #nowplaying @HollywoodFringe #theatre