The Shop & Ferment Theatre presents the New York premiere of two Philip Ridley plays that ask questions about our need for love and recognition. More…
'Dark Vanilla Jungle' is a compelling and heart-wrenching drama about one girl’s craving for family and home… and the lengths she will go to find them.
'Tonight with Donny Stixx' tells the story of Donnie, a young lad craving fame. Tabloids called him The Most Hated Boy Alive. But Donny doesn't want forgiveness. All Donny wants is… his own television show.
"Mr. Ridley is a writer of uncommon, lyrical delicacy...What’s most unsettling in his work isn’t its violence, but the seductive voices of those who perpetrate it. He endows his blighted characters with an instinctive gift for poetry that gropes for patterns in a random and unforgiving universe...'Tonight With 'Donny Stixx' and 'Dark Vanilla Jungle' offer an ideal introduction to the savage beauty of Mr. Ridley’s world...Beautifully modulated performances." Full Review
"Intermissionless and endlessly engaging, 'Tonight With Donny Stixx' may be an evening spent with a disturbed individual, but the sympathy it elicits for its subject is a credit to the talents involved. It's a night well spent." Full Review
"While a little bit less confrontational, in the capable hands of brilliant actor Harry Farmer and actress Robyn Kerr, these plays are no less visceral. Though they are totally self-contained and appear on separate nights, the two plays have many things in common...Their nuanced, layered performances reveal even more than the author’s words. Ridley’s rich, detailed language is made poetic in their delivery...Both plays will make you know you have been through a theatrical experience." Full Review
"Gut-bustingly intense due to two ferociously good performances…Farmer and Kerr both deliver visceral, breathtaking portrayals of Donny's and Andrea's tortured psyches…Ridley is good at nudging audiences out of their comfort zones....Though Kerr infuses her performance with more humor than Farmer does, both plays ultimately show how easily the ugly modern world around us can slash through the psyches of those who aren't quite equipped to handle its pressures." Full Review
"'Tonight with Donny Stixx' and 'Dark Vanilla Jungle' are plays about obsession and attention in the world wide web world. Both characters crave to be noticed through the haze of artificial likes and retweets masquerading themselves as connection...This is a solid collection of monologues worth checking out. Catch them both for the thematic connections though don’t miss the rollercoaster that is 'Dark Vanilla Jungle.' Just don’t get too obsessed." Full Review
"In both pieces, Ridley seems to want contemporary social horrors to register both as political commentary and as ingredients in a dark, strange world of imagination. But 'Tonight With Donny Stixx' and 'Dark Vanilla Jungle' are too insistently literal to conjure much fantasy, and wallowing in the messed-up psychology of individual sad sacks is the cheapest, least insightful way to reckon with these real-life problems...It's just not all that amusing." Full Review
See it if you live for searing drama. You're so close to the actor she looks you right in the eye at her most vulnerable — and most aggressive
Don't see it if you can't deal with the realities of child prostitution, poverty and mental health.
See it if You are a fan of one-acts and would appreciate the experience of really getting inside a character's head.
Don't see it if You aren't into dark pieces. Also cues for "Donny Stix" in particular were a bit off (stage management wise- since the other play was good).
See it if You like intense plays showing lots of emotions.
Don't see it if You are not ready for emotions, rants, outbursts and some sad stories. It's not a happy ever after fairytale.
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