God of Carnage, written by the French playwright Yasmina Reza, is the second play done for the 2010-2011 season of FreshINK productions here at Parkside. The play, set in Paris in the present day, is about two sets of parents, the Vallons and the Reilles, who meet in order to discuss an altercation between their children got while they were at school. Ferdinand, the Reilles child, hit Bruno (the Vallons child) with a stick after Bruno called him a name and would not let him into his gang, knocking out two of Bruno’s teeth. As the play progresses, the parents become less and less mature and begin to behave like children themselves as they attempt to come to some solution concerning their children.
I thought the play was very clever, with well written and humorous dialogue. Every moment was enjoyable. I found the progression in how the characters were behaving very interesting. They went from acting in a socially acceptable way to totally giving in to the “God of Carnage” and becoming violent. As stated by the Director, Gale Childs Daily, in the after-show discussion, the play “hold[s] the mirror up to human nature.” It kind of shows how people may act without the confines of socially accepted behavior holding them back and how built up tension can lead to violence. What I thought quite ironic was the fact that the character most against violence becomes the most violent one.
I thought the cast members did a fabulous job. All of them were well believable as the characters and both couples had great chemistry, something the cast members worked hard to establish outside of rehearsal. Even with only six days of rehearsal, each of them played their character incredibly well. It can be hard for young actors to portray older characters in a realistic way, but I thought the cast members in this production managed to do that perfectly.
I also thought the director’s decision to include some movement and small props to the reading was really great. It made the reading different than the other stage readings I have had the chance to see so far. It was well done and definitely makes me want to check out more from the playwright.
The 2010 section of the season is now over, with the next FreshINK production coming out this February titled 26 Miles. I look forward to seeing it!