The performances are stellar - Maggie Dorfman is a fantastic anchor for the rest of the cast to revolve around. All the members of her family are very well-played and complex, never quite allowing me to completely demonize any of them, allowing me to sympathize with each of their pains.
The theatricality of this was wonderful. The way the fantastical elements are played must be seen. It is a feast of energy.
The story itself manages to masterfully weave between the two narratives of the Girl's journey to the Central Ring and the story of her family breaking apart. The way it is able to concurrently play both stories without losing any of either is truly applaud-worthy.
The message is, of course, important and the emotional arc got me seriously close to crying at the end there.
I really really liked this show, and it was SO CLOSE to being a show that I LOVED.
The symbolism is blatant, but for the most part, it works. A couple of times it got a little too on the nose for my tastes.
There was a point where the Girl got fed up with Joy and I didn't quite buy that shift.
The Central Ring was a touch anticlimactic, especially given how creative and visceral Violence just was. To me, it either needed to be more traditionally climactic or a complete anticlimax. I see a world where either option works.
A beautiful play that manages to pull off a tricky narrative structure, say something meaningful about depression and abuse, while being truly theatrical. I know it is adapted from an upcoming graphic novel and I'm sure there are several adaptational differences, but the way this story was told could only have worked in the theatre. Which is exciting to me, given how sick I am of naturalism on the stage.