Performing Arts: Theater
  CUDDLES
June 16, 2015
Two women spin as eerie a mystery tale as any seen on stage. Bedraggled and thin, Eve’s mouth twists into teeth-baring gapes. She’s sequestered in the attic, while the older “sister” Tabby—a successful professional- goes out in the real world. Day in and day out, Eve (the remarkable Carla Langley) scurries around the bare room in a dirty T-shirt and undies like a caged animal. Newspapers cover the floor and a buckets hides under the bed for human excrement. Unable to feed herself, Eve favors sucking blood from her sister’s arm when she’s not gulping varmints.

As much a pet as a human, Eve waits for Tabby to come feed her. Click clack, click clack, Tabby’s authoritative spiked heels assert a steely resolve. The sound thrills Eve who loves listening to Tabby’s odd fairytales and sucking her blood—because according to Tabby, Eve is a vampire. Vampire status imposes strict, life-saving rules including no contact with other humans or outdoor excursions. Inexorably drawn to each other, theirs is a cursed universe.

An adolescent, Eve is gaining a sexual awareness and openly questioning her situation--but their ritual remains sacred, until the commanding Tabby (Rendah Heywood) decides to invite a man over the house. Needless to say, this sorry attempt at a relationship fails, particularly when Tabby starts scratching on the floor and moaning like Heathcliff’s lunatic wife in Wuthering Heights. In constant state of re-calibration, this relationship thrives on tension and guilt. When sister wants to bring in a man, cuddles revolts, scratching on the floor and moaning. Clearly, there’s only room for the two of them.

Written by the highly gifted Joseph Wilde and sharply directed by Rebecca Atkinson-Lord, this uncannily appealing and fresh production at 59E59 is a perfect touring vehicle.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipitois




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