BWW Review: THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU: A FEVER DREAM STEEPED IN BLOOD is a Riveting Tour de Force
THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU: A FEVER DREAM STEEPED IN BLOOD is presented by The Paladin Theatre Company. Written, directed, and performed by Charles P. Stites, this one-man play is an adaptation of the H.G. Wells science fiction classic. The play first premiered at Frontera Fest in 2014 and later moved on to San Francisco's Emerald Tablet, where it was awarded Best Solo Performance by the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Table Awards.
This adaptation loosely follows the British author's original story. A man named Edwards is stranded at sea after being shipwrecked with two other survivors. After both men meet untimely ends Edwards is rescued by a passing boat, only to then be left on a remote island. The island is home to the elusive Doctor Moreau, his unwilling assistant Montgomery, and a host of half animal, half human hybrids created from the doctor's cruel experiments. As the island's inhabitants become increasingly aware of the new presence of Edwards, Moreau and Montgomery struggle to maintain dominance over the man-like creatures.
The play successfully encompasses the main concept of Wells' novel, but it is Charles P. Stites' performance that takes the audience on an engrossing journey. With nothing but a single chair, Stites expertly depicts his surroundings with an animal-like ferocity. His vivid storytelling gives audience members the ability to imagine the heat of a relentless sun, the cool breeze off the sea, and the unsettling scent of blood. Along with the play's evocative dialogue, Stites seamlessly transitions between a myriad of characters without missing a word; from a shipwrecked sailor to Moreau's animal man servant, Silas, each role is fully realized with individual accents, speech patterns, and mannerisms. Stites' effortless transformations make the story and his performance fascinating, disturbing, and at times downright terrifying.
THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU: A FEVER DREAM STEEPED IN BLOOD is a riveting tour de force with Charles P. Stites in the driver's seat. With a run time of seventy minutes and an admission price of ten dollars, this thrilling odyssey is not one to miss.
THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU: A FEVER DREAM STEEPED IN BLOOD plays at The Pony Shed at The Vortex (2307 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722) April 12th-15th. All performances at 8:30 PM.
Tickets - $10.00
Run Time - 70 Minutes, no intermission.