Written by Patrick Chavis
Postmortem fits in quite well with the paradigm of the mystery play. It follows the rules of a typical mystery to the tee. On one hand, following tradition allows for wonderful dialogue and drama. However, the traditional mystery structure also has weaknesses and when a show’s direction is almost none existent, the weaknesses become very obvious. Even avid lovers of mystery theatre will have a hard time enjoying the Newport Theatre Arts Center’s production of Postmortem. The stakes are so low, the authentic gun shots used in the play may be the only thing keeping your attention on the stage.
The year is 1922. Our protagonist, William Gillette, is not a detective but merely an actor who has become famous for playing a detective. Whereas some leave the acting fantasy for the script, Gillette fancies himself a detective on and off the stage. With his intentions shrouded in mystery, Gillette invites guests to an isolated mansion (because that makes it creepy) to perform a séance. Continue Reading