Monday, 8 March 2010

Bernice Summerfield: The Green Eyed Monster

The Green Eyed monster is an odd play. It has two plot strands, both highly interlinked, but alone neither would make a satisfying adventure. The tale Bernice stumbles into is just too light and obvious, the villain too melodramatic and the plan too obvious. Alternately Jason and Adrian’s scenes are too short, their dialogue although sweet too simple, and giant leaps in the narrative are made very quickly and too often.

But together these two strands tell a story about a dysfunctional family, and yes, for the first time presented on audio, the Braxiatel Collection is a family. You can see just why Bernice wanted to get away from it all, you can see how Jason and Adrian have a natural paranoia about each other. Again, like the last play, this is painted in broad comedic brush strokes, but it works, especially with Joseph’s amusing contributions. The little yellow speaking diary is quickly becoming the highlight of the series.

There is one thing I don’t get though. A large commotion is made about the fact Bernice would 'never' leave her baby behind, but where was Peter during the previous play? He was mentioned there but not given any details. I understand this probably wouldn’t be the best play to kick of a series, but the logic has my head spinning.

Not all of the comedy worked for me, scenes with Jason and Adrian alternately yelling at Sloatie whilst the other held him back are meh, and the twins Boris and Ronald are pretty poor villains. But the little fluffy rabbit, Joseph’s witty remarks about motherhood and other small, minor tidbits are brilliant.

Perhaps though the Green Eyes Monster needs to be short, in order to not outstay the welcome of its main concept. It starts, and ends, with a warring household. Not a melodramatic war, but a domestic ‘normal’ one where most of the participants love each other really, even if they refuse to admit it. It gives you a glimpse as to how all these pieces (separate for so long) start to fit together. And the regulars all give exemplary performances. After all, this wasn’t about the villains, it was about them together on Audio. At last.

7 / 10

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