Review: NO EXIT by Jean-Paul Sartre Offers an Inside Look at Existentialist Hell

Review: NO EXIT by Jean-Paul Sartre Offers an Inside Look at Existentialist Hell

Real Art Daily Productions (RADProd) is a new company that produces both film and theatre productions. With concentrated study and education in both classical music and theatre, Georginna Feyst, CEO and Executive Producer, whose reverence for fine art, cinema, theatre and other forms of storytelling let her to select probably one of the most definitive and difficult plays, Jean-Paul Sartre's 1944 existentialist play, NO EXIT, as the company's kick off production. In it, three strangers are locked together by a Bellboy in what they assume is hell (since all know they have recently died). Expecting but not receiving any physical torture to occupy them, they are forced to simply exist with each other without any hope of escape from the room, each other, and worst of all - themselves. It is a 100-minute examination of the futility of life.

Review: NO EXIT by Jean-Paul Sartre Offers an Inside Look at Existentialist HellNO EXIT was chosen, among many reasons, because Feyst believes Sartre's message is crucial for us at this time. "Our country is drastically divided over ideology. If we could realize what Estelle, Cradeau, and Inèz come to understand at the end of this play, that our empty rituals, destructive beliefs and projections upon each other are what's causing the agony of our situation, and if we could see the ridiculousness of our minds and accept ourselves and each other as we are, we could potentially heal the rift that has seized our nation and experience a more peaceful existence."

With set design by Natalia Bortolotti, inspired by Bauhaus style and German Expressionism, hell is depicted as a whitewashed room with three primary colored pieces of furniture, a blue triangle, yellow rectangle, and red circle, upon which its occupants can sit or sleep for all eternity, Review: NO EXIT by Jean-Paul Sartre Offers an Inside Look at Existentialist Hellwith a few distasteful paintings to break the monotony. The morose, modern portrait paintings by Otto Dix are a reminder of the characters' dark history.

The production is directed by Ye'ela Rosenfeld who was brought in after casting was in place, shares, "when the work with the cast began, we quickly discovered the humor and wit in NO EXIT, and under this new light the play became both entertaining and profound. Sartre could not have taken himself so seriously, I thought, not when conveying such a depressing message when he wrote it during the Second World War and, among other themes, deals with the demise of the age of enlightenment. I, therefore, chose to lock the three characters in a museum of contemporary art, in order to accentuate the ridiculousness of our cultural achievements when put against our monstrosities.

Along with Georginna Feyst as the pragmatist Inez Serrano and the other three actors, Review: NO EXIT by Jean-Paul Sartre Offers an Inside Look at Existentialist HellAdam Slemon as the ever-tongue-clicking Vincent Cradeau, Brittany Lewis as the vain Estelle Delauney, and Marcin Mesa making his L.A. theatrical debut as the Bellboy, we become immersed in their claustrophobic world and become stuck in Sarte's existential absurdity with them. Unfortunately, director Rosenfeld's attempt to focus on the play's humor falls flat, making the 100 minutes go by much too slowly. The only break from the constant philosophical ramblings occurs when Estelle attempts to seduce Cradeau, much to the disgust and jealousy of Inez. But just who she is jealous of is up to the audience to figure out, as I have the sneaky suspicion it is Estelle who has attracted her attention.

Review: NO EXIT by Jean-Paul Sartre Offers an Inside Look at Existentialist HellTo assist audience members in becoming more familiar with Jean-Paul Sartre's political and social views expressed in this play, Real Art Daily Productions is scheduling Special Guest Speakers at 6:45pm before many performances, as well as having Welcome Receptions 30 minutes prior to each performance during which audience members can discuss the topics covered by the pre-show guest speakers and the play's themes, while enjoying theme-based concessions and meeting new friends. Post-Show Mix & Mingle Receptions provide the same opportunities as well as the chance to meet some cast and/or behind-the-scenes team members. For more information visit http://radprod.com/

NO EXIT continues on Fri/Sat at 8pm, Sunday as 3pm through April 8, 2018 as a guest production at Chromolume Theatre, 5429 Washington Blvd, Los Angeles 90016. General admission tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the box office before each performance or in advance at plays411.com/noexit. There is free street parking in the area with a few spaces reserved in front of the theatre for patrons with disabilities.

Photos by Ye'ela Rosenfeld




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From This Author Shari Barrett

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