The Exquisite Hour is a romantic comedy dated in 1962, production by The Lunchbox Theatre directed by Samantha MacDonald. It is performed in a small room seating around 40 guests comfortably. The set is simple and unrealistic, but does not affect the quality of the play. The character consists of two members. A male, Zachary Teale, acted by Curt Mckinstry and a female, Helen Darimont, acted by Barbara Gates Wilson.
Play begins with Zachary in his backyard enjoying his late afternoon with some alcoholic lemonade. Helen enters the scene from the outside of the gate and acquired Zachary’s attention. Helen disguises herself as an encyclopedia sales person and entered the backyard. They got into the topic of the relationship status of Zachary, and decided to create hypothetical scenarios where an encyclopedia would come in useful when approaching a female of interest. Through these scenarios, Zachary began to develop romantic feelings for Helen. Helen later reveals that she is not in fact an encyclopedia sales person, but a receptionist at the auto parts shop Zachary is the manager of and never noticed her. The two then share a moment and exit the stage to dine in a restaurant.
Curt Mckinstry is well casted for the part of Zachary Teale. Curt is a middle age man with a body built that could be described as an office body. Helen Darimont was played by Barbara Gates Wilson. Her performance was extremely dramatic at times. It was clearly the director’s decision for the character to act in this manner. Though it was an attempt to generate laughter, I thought it was annoying and unpleasant.
During the play, very minimal sound, lighting, or any other special effects were used. The sound of birds chirping was used at the very beginning of the play to develop setting, indicating a delightful afternoon. Closer to the end of the play, lighting was converted to a dimmer and orange colour, indicating sunset. Simplicity as such requires the actors to carry the setting by using their body expression, emotions, and skills, which both actors demonstrated flawlessly.
Costumes were simple and elegant. The actors dressed as they were in the 1960s. Not many props were used. The main object of the play was the one encyclopedia. This setup allows the actors to drive the plot and deliver the play through their acting skills.
Overall, I believe The Exquisite Hour was well directed and well delivered. The actors were in characters and performed with extensive enthusiasm.
For my planned production, I’ve decided to direct Waiting for Godot. The two plays are quite different but similar in the sense that comedy is involved. Waiting for Godot requires the actors to use body movement to drive the storyline, also similar to The Exquisite Hour. Actors in The Exquisite Hour expressed their emotions quite dramatically, which is the way I will direct Waiting for Godot. Since the plot is actor driven, I will direct the actors to over play every expression which will act as a comedy element.
There is no specific venue I would like the play to be placed in, but it would have to be a smaller size theatre such as the Lunchbox Theatre, which seats about 40 to 60 people. A smaller size venue will allow the audience to be much closer to the stage. The way Lunchbox Theatre has setup their seats place the audience to be higher than the stage, which creates the sense of that the audience is a part of the atmosphere. This is a feeling large venues cannot create.
The production will have very minimal props similar to The Exquisite Hour. Actors will be forced to drive the production and deliver the message across to the audience. The actors will be dressed in poor clothing and the scene will be similar to a desert environment to represent hardship. Scarce amount of plants will be present and no other signs of lives around. This will create a sense of loneliness.
For the casting choice, I would prefer modern comedy actors who have a high amount of exposure in the popular culture. Vladimir will be played by Jack Black. Estragon will be played by Seth Rogen. Lucky will be played by Russel Brand. Pozzo will be played by Mathew Perry. Boy will be played by young Jonah Hill. The production will be heavily focused on comedy with this strictly comedy actors team.
Special effects will be minimally used. As previously stated, the actors will have the ability to deliver the plot and emotions through their acting skills. Lighting will be yellow-orange to indicate a bright, hot sunny day.