‘Flayed’ – Flamboyant – Funny – Flawed

By Ernest Kearney  —  Ideas are swarming in Josiah Blount’s flamboyant one-man theomachy Flayed, and we’re talking a swarm of the Biblical variety.  Unfortunately, the droning dissonance it produces is detrimental to his endeavor.

Blount bounces out like Marjoe on the NASCAR circuit and, with the alacrity of Ricky Jay, sets to shuffling various characters as he mythologizes his love of Christ and his attraction to bronze hunks.

Blount leaps from the tight-ass Tartuffe Pastor Wallace to a conflicted younger self, then zips into Bartholomew —a cannibalistic Medieval serf—, whisks into the persona of a maladroit pregnant mermaid, dons the blond wig of a randy milkmaid, as he leaps from contestant/defendant, game show/witness stand, back to the church altar and finally into the bumping and grinding Red Queen….

Throughout it all Blount clowns it up royally, dragging audience members up on stage, utilizing them as Congregationalists, assigning them roles in the story of his sexual quest.

Silver Medal (via The TVolution)

Like I said, there is a great deal going on here, but what there isn’t is what’s needed the most: economy and conciseness.  While Blount’s clowning is excellent, bordering on inspired, his lack of focus dilutes the dynamics of his performance and muddles the story he is trying to convey.  Taubert Nadalini’s sound design is impressive, as is Taylor Sieve’s choreography but Blount and Director David Bridel need to hack down the show’s seventy-five minutes running time. 

A Silver Medal.   


To learn more about Flayed and the Hollywood Fringe Festival click HERE.

Written by

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 TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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