Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Mindgame‘s Plot Twists Will Twist Your Mind

By • Aug 22nd, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Port Tobacco Playhouse’s performance of Mindgame [MP3 5:35 1.6MB].

Laura: Last Friday night we saw the opening night performance of Mindgame performed by Port Tobacco Playhouse in La Plata, Maryland. This is the last show of their 2005-2006 season.

Mike: Mindgame was written by Anthony Horowitz. It’s a play of twists and turns, pretty close to a horror type movie in that you don’t know what’s going to happen next. It takes place in an asylum in England for various serial killers. A writer shows up and wants to interview and write a book about one of the people who is living, to put it nicely, at the asylum. So he talks with the doctor. The doctor and the nurse come through at different times. Something funny is going on, but you’re not quite sure what. By the time you figure it out, it’s too late and you are just sucked into his story. Obviously, I don’t want to give anything away so doing a description of the show is a little tricky.

Laura: This was a well acted show. It was kind of scary in a way because I can’t give away any real description of it because that gives away the plot which is the whole purpose of this performance. I got caught up in the intrigue and the twists and turns of it. I enjoyed watching it, although it was a bit disturbing talking about criminally insane prisoners.

Mike: I’m not a big fan of horror movies or scary movies or anything like that. I didn’t enjoy the show too much, but it was really well acted. The special effects were pretty good. The set was perfect for the show. The actual acting was really good. There were a lot of good questions raised, such as the meaning of reality and how do you perceive reality. The question that Dr. Farquhar says is “What are we, but what others perceive of us?” That sums up the show pretty well. We’re always asking what are the perceptions of these three actors.

Laura: The role of Mark Styler was played by David Timmerman. He was a writer who was coming in to interview one of the patients of Fairfield. I liked his confusion and him trying to figure out exactly what was going on.

Mike: The director of the Fairfield Hospital was Dr. Farquhar played by Randy Tusing, who was also the director of the show. He was quite believable as the bureaucrat running his hospital, trying to do what’s best for his patients. The twists and turns that go throughout the show really, at times stretched, “Oh, my gosh, how did that happen” to “that’s totally believable and it makes perfect sense.” It was kind of creepy. He and Davis Timmerman worked together really well. It was only the two of them for a majority of the scenes and they carried those scenes really well.

Laura: The third character in Mindgame was Nurse Plimpton. She was played by Kim Donaldson, she did a really good job. She played frightened very well. She was creepy, but it was very very believable.

Mike: The set was very well done. It was the office of Dr. Farquhar. There were three different entrances that at times were locked, since it’s a high security mental hospital. A nice little window they used a few times to talk about different things out on the grounds of the hospital. I can’t tell you anymore about the set, but it was really well done. Unfortunately one of the walls seemed to be on wheels (it probably was). During one of the scenes, one of the characters had to try to force the door open and the whole wall moved. Hopefully they can get that anchored down better. The set was designed by John Reckeweg. The set construction and painting was coordinated by John Merritt.

Laura: The costumes were very good. They were modern day so the men were in suits and ties. The nurse was in a nurse uniform. It was very believable.

Mike: There were lots of special effects in the show. The most notable was a siren that would go off with flashing lights during a few times when bad things happened. Be ready for the unexpected because that’s the type of show, lots of unexpected things that will be happening. I can’t give specifics away, but there was a point near the end of the show where I said,”Oh, they need blank to happen.” And it happened. So I was really glad I was able to guess that plot twist. There were several plot twists that I did guess correctly, there were a couple I missed. This show will keep you hopping. It’s not everybody’s type of show.

Laura: Mindgame is playing for one more weekend through August 27th in La Plata, Maryland. I do recommend that you go see this show. I really enjoyed it. It will keep you in suspense throughout the performance.

Mike: This show is definitely not for kids. High schoolers would probably like it, but not younger than high school. There were also several people who left at intermission, which I think is a shame. You’ve already invested an hour into it, you might as well stick around and get your money’s worth. It is scary. It is a lot of adult situations, including cannibalism and murder. Just be ready for that type of thing.

Laura: This is our last review until September. We are taking some time off. We will be starting up again mid September and we are still looking for guest reviewers so anybody out there that’s interested just send us an email.

Mike: And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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