Extremities is a dark and incredibly intelligent play that lays bare, amongst other things, the ineptitude of law and society to bring victims of crimes committed behind closed doors crimes like attempted rape to justice. Extremities is a dark and incredibly intelligent play that lays bare, amongst other things, the ineptitude of law and society to bring victims of crimes committed behind closed doors — crimes like attempted rape — to justice. While dealing with a sensitive issue and making a strong political and psychological statement, it also manages to be funny in places. Extremities is a play about a girl who traps her almost-rapist inside her fireplace, while debating with her roommates about what should become of her would-be rapist.
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Review by: Peter Brown Every once in a while a play turns up which has something special to offer. The subject is rape. American playwright William Mastrosimone wrote this play after talking with a rape victim. Later, he confronted her on the courthouse steps with a warning that he intended attacking her again.
Marjorie is listening to the radio and getting herself ready for the day. Her flatmates, Terry and Pat, have gone to work. Suddenly, Marjorie is stung by a wasp. She kills it with fly spray. But then, equally suddenly, the front door bursts open and a man walks in. And, within seconds, he has Marjorie on the floor and is smothering her into compliance with a cushion. Now the tables are turned, and Marjorie is able to bind her attacker and imprison him in the fireplace.
When her flatmates return, you would think it was simply a question of phoning the police to get the intruder arrested. Not so. And while this is going on, the perpetrator tries to manipulate events to secure his freedom. But it does because it is. I particularly enjoyed the choice of topics for the radio interviews and the buzzing wasp which covers the scene changes.
Nice touches. My only reservation was whether there should have been an interval. In one sense, the interval broke the tension and the flow, but at the same time it also gave the audience and cast some much-needed respite. A fine cast tackle a difficult subject and equally difficult staging with amazing confidence.
John Schumacher brilliantly portrays the fast-talking, Liverpudlian attacker whose gift for manipulation almost reaches the heights of an art-form. Angela Bull is superb as victim Marjorie, defining a capable and intelligent woman whose luck is fortunately matched by her ability to recognise it.
And Kas Darley is the reasonable and sensible Pat, who wonders who the victim really is until the denouement. But the leather sofa, curved Scandinavian chair, the wooden fireplace surround and plants in the kitchen do more than enough to suggest a feminine, low-rental home.
Crimes against the person are always insidious, but rape has life-changing consequences for the victim. Not only do they suffer the immediate brutality of the actual attack, they must re-live it during police enquiries, in open court, with friends and relatives, and partners.
Then, with all that behind them, they have to live with the possibility that their attacker may return.
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Plot[ edit ] A young woman, Marjorie, is attacked in her home by a would-be rapist, Raul, and manages to turn the tables on him, tying him up in her fireplace. Her roommates come home to discover the attacker bound with cords, belts and other household items. Terry and Patricia, the roommates, express different points of view about rape in society. Terry, a rape victim herself as a teenager, believes that Raul will not be convicted because a rape did not actually occur and there is no proof. Patricia believes in the judicial system and insists on calling the police. Memorable cast members[ edit ] Susan Sarandon originated the lead role of Marjorie in the off-Broadway production.