Joe Quinn takes on the iconic Poe poem in a one man exploration to explain humanity and for the audience who appreciates the classic cannon this is the show for you! Quinn’s affinity for crisp language and love of classic text shines as he creates a sense of eeriness that perfectly captures Poe’s world. For those unfamiliar with the poem, the narrative can be difficult to follow, but sink into the world Quinn is creating and you will certainly enjoy this ambitious actor driven piece.
submitted by: Lindsey Jade Higgins, PF23 Independent Review Team
What’s actually more perverse: the impulse to commit a violent act, or the compulsion to confess it? We know from the moment the lights go up on “The Imp of the Perverse” that the character on stage has been caught for doing something wrong: he’s sitting at a table in handcuffs. And so the longer this character (played with keen self-possession by Joe Quinn) goes without even acknowledging those handcuffs, the more my curiosity grew. Despite Quinn’s trained diction, the expository, almost academic nature of the first section (about phrenology and the seductive lure of self-annihilation) combined with the acoustics of Maine Studio Works made it a little hard to follow the first half. This piece really hits its stride when the character finally shifts to the horrors of his personal story, so stay with it. This is classic Edgar Allen Poe, and I found Quinn’s use of pre-recorded snippets of the character’s inner monologue, which spur shifts in the physical action, to be especially effective in drawing me into the psychological rupture hiding just beneath the character’s otherwise impeccable — yet subtly disturbing — veneer. After all, we all hide parts of ourselves from society, don’t we?
submitted by: Amanda Painter, PF23 Independent Review Team