Written by 7:40 pm Review, The Larking House Theatre Company, Theater, Uncategorized, World Premiere

World Premiere: Abyss @ The Larking House – Review

photo credit: Matthew M Hayashi
Written by Patrick Chavis

Abyss explores the relationship between Prometheus, the Greek god, played by Spike Pulice, and the Eagle, sent by Zeus, played by Gabrielle Gutierrez, who is sent to torture Prometheus and eat his liver for all eternity. While Prometheus struggles in this pain trap for eternity, we discover there’s more going on than just torture between these two beings.


I like that this piece from playwright Jarid McCarthy doesn’t try to dumb itself down. It’s not necessary to know the myth of Prometheus beforehand, but this piece doesn’t hold your hand, and I could see someone without some prior knowledge being confused while watching this show. Even if you don’t understand the mythology behind the idea, the play still has a straightforward story about trapped people looking for meaning in a place that seems meaningless. Can someone find something, anything of meaning in the Abyss (Kind of on the nose with that one)? McCarthy’s poetic but not over-the-top language adds a lot to the narrative.

The relationship these very different entities form is romantic — a darker, surprising romance for sure. I think it works quite well. What doesn’t work quite so well is the repetitive act of eating the liver, which I think the playwright or the director knows, as many of these moments were cut short. After about two times, we get it. This play has a few pretty violent graphic moments, and they are executed quite well by the actors and the fight choreographer, Matthew M. Hayashi.

Set Design/Lighting/Sound:

The set design from Tony Sanchez was very impressive. It transformed the space into a cavernous, underground torture chamber. Right in the middle of the cave-like set is a tattered mattress with a gravel frame, adding the cave-like aesthetic to even the bed.  It’s a very smart and cohesive design from Sanchez. Most of this show is moody, and the lighting design matches the aesthetic. Any open areas in this production benefit from Tony Sanchez well-placed and timed lighting.

If I could highlight one thing that stood out the most in a good way, it was the sound design from Lizzy McCabe. The ethereal sound palette brought an underworld vibe to this production.


Spike Pulice and Gabrielle Gutierrez pulled together some convincing performances at my showing.

Even before the show begins, Pulice stays in character, writhing on the cave-like mattress as you walk into this dark, dimly lit garage.

This world premiere could be slightly tighter, and more explanation about the history of these characters earlier on in some creative way would benefit it when it comes to a broader audience.

8.3 Overall
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Good Show! OCR Recommended!

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