‘THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK’ – Lewis Carroll Meets Dick Cheney

By Ernest KearneySometime after the publication of Through the Looking-Glass in 1871, author Lewis Carroll penned his nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark – An Agony in Eight Fits.

Arguments over what the hell the poem is, actually, about have been raging since it first appeared in print, still the piece has inspired a range of adaptations from operas to ballets to a video game.

The Fringe (HFF24) production has taken the “story theatre” approach in telling the tale of a Bellman (BK Dawson) who organizes a hunting party in order to track down an elusive and indeterminate beastie known as the “Snark.”

Apparently, Bellman’s only requirement in enlisting the members of his party was that their names begin with a “B.”  There’s the Baker (River Collins), the Butcher (Madison Stamm), and even a Beaver (Juan Ayala).

Director Josh Sobel has some clever staging but unfortunately, not a cast that is fully up to the task, and some of the actors— who in an attempt at “silliness” —have only succeeded in being annoying. 

The production is at Javista Coffee Hollywood. This new venue has great potential but comes with some distinct challenges.  It is gloriously cavernous, and so a good choice for Snark, however, attention has not been paid to the performer’s volume levels.  This proved a problem for most of the cast, with the exception of the narrator who was pitch-perfect.  It was a preview performance, so there’s hope they’ll manage to fix a “cap” on their “mad” as they go along.


The Hunting of the Snark

Playing during The Hollywood Fringe Festival 2024


Javista Coffee Hollywood (Main Space)
1532 N Highland Ave



Saturday June 15 2024, 8:30 PM | 55 mins

Sunday June 16 2024, 8:30 PM | 55 mins

Friday June 21 2024, 8:00 PM | 55 mins

Ernest Kearney - author


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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