Review: Fuddy Meers at Errant Phoenix Productions
Fuddy Meers, by playwright David Lindsay-Abair, is an odd and rather disturbing play that defies any logical description of its plot or characters. It’s funny, farcical and at times frustrating—but does put the “fun” in family dysfunction.
We first meet a sunny Claire (Bethany Hidden), who greets the day with an optimistic yet quizzical smile as a strange man (Earl Victorine) enters the bedroom. He explains to Claire that he’s her husband Richard and that she suffers from psychogenic amnesia. Which means every day is “Groundhog’s Day” for Claire, who remembers no one and nothing from the day before.
After Richard hands Claire a scrapbook designed to help her sort out the people, places and events in her past and present, a masked stranger pops out and persuades her to flee to her mother’s house. Along the way, new husbands, family members, strangers, peculiar characters and a hand puppet rotate in and out trying to both comfort and confuse Claire.
Equally confused is the audience, which tries to keep up with the merry-go-round of shifting characters and story lines. The redeeming reward is that Fuddy Meers is seldom boring, with its fun twists and turns. The current staging by Errant Phoenix Productions brings together a talented cast and creative staging.
Errant Phoenix makes good use of its new home at Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre. This small, very intimate theater space in the basement of an old Victorian has three rows of seats with little room between stage and audience. Which means in-your-face action—a plus most of the time for this eccentric play.