>down the road by luna-id
>reviewed by musa fazal
8 nov 2001
In DOWN THE ROAD, a husband and wife writing team, Dan and Iris Henniman, are hired to write the biography of William Reach, a convicted murderer of at least 19 young women. As each bloodcurdling detail of these murders is exposed, the Hennimans are drawn further and further into the twisted psyche of William Reach and eventually find themselves confronting serious questions on publishers' ethics and the public's fascination with serial killers.
This morbid fascination with serial killers is interestingly contrasted in the play against Iris Henniman's comic fixation with their neighbour's water heater. Also, as Dan Henniman begins to see pieces of himself in the jigsaw he reconstructs of William Reach's mind, we begin to see William Reach physically invading Dan's private space, sitting in his chair to watch TV, lying in his bed beside his wife.
story succeeds in the end because it is terrifying and fascinating all
at once to think that when we start to explore the motivations of murderers
and madmen, when we go down that road, we might actually find no space,
no distance at all between us and them.
>>'"If last night didn't get you pregnant, nothing will" wins a modest titter'
The set is
mildly interesting, with William Reach's prison cell raised on a platform
directly behind the Henniman's bed so that it seems to loom over them
even in their most intimate moments. And the music is quite good - a very
tentative melody that adds just that right dash of suspense. But something
about the pace and the intensity of the play is lacking.
But it was Rehaan Engineer's portrayal of William Reach that was really the most outstanding part of the play. Rehaan manages, better than the others, to display versatility in his portrayal of emotions and he has a certain hungry intensity about his gaze that makes the very story of a charismatic serial killer believable.
On the whole
though what we end up with is a play that seems tedious and bland when
it should be bristling with dry wit and sharp insights. Too many good
lines in this play drew little more than a polite hiccup of a laugh. This
play needed to be harder, louder and faster right from the very beginning.