Adam Peck’s “Bonnie & Clyde” (A Review)

Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017By Ernest Kearney — Adam Peck, who works with the Old Vic in Bristol, seems to be drawn to subjects laden with the mystique of mythos.  One such example was his Minotaur, a work that served to examine not the bull-headed monster, but the mystery of the Labyrinth.   Bonnie & Clyde also brushes aside the legendary elements of the Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow story, putting its focus instead on a far greater mystery; the dynamics of the human heart.

The play opens with a mournful tune by composer Ben Champion played by Karolina Naziemiec on violin.

It sets the mood perfectly for what’s to come.

On the run from the law, holding up in a barn, both Bonnie Parker (Claire Bronchick) and Clyde Barrow (Joel Sutton) are showing the cost of their lawless lives.  Clyde is wounded in his shoulder; Bonnie’s leg has been severely burned from an earlier car crash she was involved in.

Here they are not the iconic couple made famous by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in the 1967 film, or the devil may care pair seen in the famous photos.  Here they are two people aware of the dark fate they’re facing and trying their best to shut it out.

Silver Medal (via The TVolution)Sutton and Bronchick capture the simplicity of the characters and the unspoken desperation of their situation.

It is a play that demands a nuanced undertow in every word spoken and moments passed, and asides by Clyde function in the fashion of a Greek Chorus warning of the fate awaiting them.

Making his directorial debut here, Andrew Leeson does not have the needed tools that come only from experience to serve the demands of this work.  Still, he shows a sure hand, and the ability to work with actors.


♦     ♦     ♦

Bonnie & Clyde
Ran During The Fringe 2017
The Hudson Theatre

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An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

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