Country Music – Simon Stephens

Congratulations! You’ve passed the halfway mark. Five down, four to go. We are also crossing over into a territory of Simon Stephens’ plays that  l like.

I love small-scale theatre and plays that have a low threshold for entry (production wise), so Country Music had me from the very short cast list. And then the choreography of language from having only two characters in every scene, but one is consistent throughout. This is a little piece of genius. I haven’t come across this in any other work yet, and it is so effective for telling this story.

If the hard , beautiful truth that unfolds; the four characters; or the bare-bones set possibilities (a table and two chairs could do it all), don’t lure you in, Stephens’ appropriately sentimental intro will pull you over the edge. This is a very tangible, real-life scale story about the sort of one-time, but too-critical, bad decisions which lead to a lifetime of bad outcomes. There is someone from your school days or your neighborhood, no more than two degrees of separation from you, who screwed up to exactly this magnitude. You shake your head about him sometimes. Someone always about her at reunions and those in the know fall quiet. This is familiar, and it’s one I would love to direct.

Cast: 4  2M 2F  Run time: 80 min? It’s only 61 pages but there is space to be taken. Synopsis: The journey of a young man navigating what his life becomes after one bad decision.

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