Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Review: CREDITORS Presented by The Chamber Theatre at Vault 1031

Ryan Watson (left) and Polina Shafran (right) in Creditors. Photo courtesy of The Chamber Theatre.


By August Strindburg

Translated by Edwin Djorkman

Adapted by Martin French

Review by Taylor Clemons

Entire contents copyright © 2016 Taylor Clemons. All rights reserved.

Secrets, manipulation, and sexual tensions are center stage in this incredibly potent and deep self billed tragi-comedy.

Our tragi-comedy begins in the sitting area of a seaside resort hotel. We are immedately introduced to Adolph (Ryan Watson) and Gustov (Michael Drury). Adoph, an artist, has met Gustov at this hotel, and they have quickly become "friends". Throughout the first scene, Adolph is sculpting a statue of his beloved wife Tekla (Polona Shafran). While talking, Gustov has managed to get Adolph to slowly open up about his marital relationship. Gustov takes this access and starts putting thoughts into his head about things he should be doing to make the marriage last. We as the audience suspect that Gustov's motives might not be entirely pure. Unknown to Adolph, Gustov and Tekla are suspected to have somewhat of a rocky past.

Aside from the play being wonderfully written, the performances are really the thing to praise here. Ryan Watson easily expresses the discomfort and uncertainty that Adolph feels. His scenes with Michael Drury are extremely captivating, as you see Gustov pick apart Adoph's brain piece by piece with deadly precision. Drury's Gustav is absolutely spectacular. He captures the character's conniving nature perfectly, and the audience can't help but longingly hang on every word he speaks. Polina Shafran is a revelation as Tekla. In many ways, she is indeed the center of this very dramatic and drastic tale. She radiates confidence and assurance when she first enters, but as the play goes on, we as the audience can actively observe her slowly ripping at the seams, as Gustov slowly breaks her down as well.

Vault 1031 is one of the most interesting spaces in Louisville that I have had the pleasure of visiting. It's unique setup works very well for this play. The set is minimal, but the magic the actors create is all that really matters. Martin French's direction is astounding. He takes the play and makes it feel slick and sleek. The pacing is spot on, as the 90 minute show seemed to fly by.

My advice is that you should catch this wonderful production in it all too brief run. It's deep and insanely thought provoking, with performances that leave your jaw practically attached to the floor.

Creditors December 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30

The Chamber Theatre at Vault 1031

1031 S. 6th Street

Louisville, KY 40203

(502) 724-6968

Related Articles View More Louisville Stories

From This Author - Taylor Clemons