The Wabash College production of The Pillowman was one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I thought the storyline was smart and morbidly hilarious. That being said, I had some issues with the play as a whole. One thing that troubled me in the beginning of the play was the constant cursing. Before there was any true plot given or character development the two officers, Tupolski and Ariel, are spouting off fucks and shits left and right. Once we find out the reason for Katurian being interrogated (for the killing of 3 children), the cussing and intimidation makes more sense. However, I do not think that the excessive cussing truly worked as an advantage to the play until we got a sense of the sickening stories that Katurian wrote.
Another thing that I had a problem with during the play was that it seemed to try too hard sometimes to shock the audience. One instance which I got this was from Katurian’s name: Katurian Katurian Katurian. The first thing that I thought of when I heard him say this was that his initials are KKK which goes hand in hand with the troubles of the south and the hate of racism. Another cheap shock that bothered me in the play was the portrayal of Katurian’s brother. I cannot say that I did not laugh at the character whenever he talked, but had I been the father, brother, or any other close relation with a mentally handicapped person, I would have probably taken great offense to the character.
Those thoughts aside, I thought the actors, directors, and crew did a fantastic job. The intimacy of such a small audience was perfect with the suffocating feeling that Katurian must have felt while being interrogated. It was a very entertaining show to say the least.