by Richard Johnson
Playwright and actor Keiran King has set his sights on creating standout productions in local theatre. His latest effort, Taboo, falls along those lines.
As its title suggests, the production is based on a touchy subject.
It opens with William, played by King, and his wife Sabrina (Lisa Williams) paying their weekly dinner visit to his sister Gina (Yendi Phillipps) and her husband John (Rodney Campbell).
William and Sabrina have clearly hit a rut in their marriage and the relationship is icy.
In contrast, John and Gina seem happy — she’s the Duke Street attorney, he’s the successful accountant and they have two children. But after a few drinks and a game of strip me, the facade begins to crack.
Director Eugene Williams addresses Taboo’s sensitive subject matter in the programme’s foreword.
“I think this play also wants to unsettle formulaic and conservative sensibilities as it invites you to lay vicariously through the characters into socially and morally forbidden domains.”
Many are interested in the stage debut of former beauty queen now television presenter Phillipps who does well. The role of Gina is not terribly complex and for a newbie, she does it justice. Williams’ character is a bit more complex. Hopefully, she will mellow into the role.
Acting aside, Taboo is visually appealing. The set is minimalist compared to King’s other works (Last Call and Mr & Mrs Blacke) but the monochromatic blocking certainly pulls the eye into the performance space.
Taboo has its moments. There are great one-liners which break the ice of the drama. However, the script is left wanting at the end of one hour, 20 minutes, leaving patrons asking, “Is that it?”
Taboo has the desired effect of continuing discussion about the subject matter. For that and more, it earns a passing grade.