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Cleaner Than Blood

ensemble theatre · thirty90ne · Ages 15+ · flashing lights · world premiere · United States

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JERRY CHAPPELL certified reviewer June 19, 2013
Cleaner than Blood is an interesting story. Three lost souls brought together by chance and opportunity, and each fueled by their own deep desire, converge the night before a wealthy man is scheduled to return home. The actors all give compelling performances, giving us glimpses of their inner demons and ultimately the reason for each of them to be present at this dark time. While I felt there were a few inconsistencies in the script- and spots that I would have preferred more information and explication- over all- the strong performances and direction made this an incredibly entertaining piece and well worth the time. I recommend it for anybody looking for a dramatic afternoon/evening of compelling theatre. ... full review
COREY CHAPPELL certified reviewer June 19, 2013
One mark of a good show is that you leave the theater discussing what you have just witnessed. This show had my husband and I talking long after the show was over. Without giving anything away, this is what I can tell you about "Cleaner Than Blood"... I found myself anxious in moments and intrigued throughout. Alex Scott makes great use of the space, creating the illusion of a much larger mansion. His choice of music and dramatic lighting helps set the tone for this well-directed dark play. The actors all turned in remarkable performances, but I especially enjoyed watching Kjai Block in the role of Jeffrey "the quiet one". This is NOT a "feel-good" show. If you are looking for a mindless laugh, look elsewhere. But if you are lookin... full review
JEFFREY WIENCKOWSKI certified reviewer June 11, 2013
"Cleaner Than Blood" is an incredibly taut psychological thriller filled with plot twists that kept me riveted until the end. All three actors turn in extremely powerful performances filled with subtle nuances that had me on the edge of my seat. Director Alex Scott consistently builds the tension while still allowing room for Jen Silverman's fascinating story to unfold and her characters to fully develop. I highly recommend this very dark and compelling drama. The performance alone will make it well worth the price of admission! ... full review
RATI GUPTA certified reviewer June 21, 2013
I am not a dark drama person, but this show completely snuck up on me. The script is very well-paced and maintains a good level of mystery without losing plot clarity. The direction is subtle and allows the complex relationships between the characters to deepen in a realistic and intimate way. Maggie is outstanding and compelling to watch. This show is intense, emotional and absolutely riveting. ... full review
JON COURIE certified reviewer June 24, 2013
The talented director Alexander Thomas Scott is the real star of this play. He has spun gold out of a straw script, eliciting fine performances from his young actors and delivering a polished, professional production.... full review
GREG MACHLIN certified reviewer June 24, 2013
Jen Silverman is an up-and-coming playwright (Lark Playwrights' Lab, Fusion Festival in New Mexico, U of Iowa MFA) and she does not disappoint here, with the taut, tense story of two drifters living in an abandoned summer home when the rich owner's niece surprises them. But they've all got overlapping agendas, and the niece has a plan of her own... Silverman (inspired by Pinter's "The Caretaker," but with more immediate flesh-and-blood, less elliptical characters) got a knack for high-stakes tension and well-timed reveals. The direction by Alex Scott is excellent; he's chosen his three actors extremely well, and a smart, judicious use of lighting really makes us feel the dark wine cellar. Kjai Block, Maggie Blake, and Austin Iredale fle... full review
RICHCLARK-PHOTO@ATT.NET CLARK certified reviewer June 24, 2013
I loved this show. I like the twists in the story, but my favorite aspect of the show was the mood created by the choice of lighting with only candles and a flashlight. It was dark in nature and dark in appearance. I think too many productions lack in their respect for creating an environment that will draw you into the play. That's what makes live theatre better than TV or movies, being right there in the moment.... full review
HEIDI POWERS certified reviewer June 25, 2013
Complex, smart and unexpectedly wry, "Cleaner Than Blood" is a tense neo-noir drama that captured my attention for all of its sixty minutes. Jen Silverman's layered and surprising script brings together characters that are far more than they first appear. Alex Scott draws them together and apart like a rubber band in alternation, with tension building until you're not sure if that rubber will contract or snap. Strong performances all around, chemistry in spades, and affecting scene work that will keep you guessing - and intrigued. A Fringe must-see.... full review
DAVID ANIS certified reviewer June 25, 2013
Immediately when the show began there was a chilling atmosphere in the room.(Maybe it helped that I was sitting directly under the AC) The suspense of learning more about these characters and their pasts kept us on the edge of our seats.... full review
ALEX KNOX certified reviewer July 02, 2013
This play is a breath of fresh air in the midst of a humid summer where lighthearted fluff is all too common. Like the cool, metal innards of a grandfather clock, this play's cogs and wheels click and turn with precision and deadly certainty. Jen Silverman's writing is sharp and economic, and the actors are excellent - Kjai Block displays heartfelt vulnerability, Maggie Blake contains her pain behind a hardened coldness, and Austin Iredale is a live wire, exuding quiet torture. Director Alex Scott wisely keeps the action moving, letting the tension linger just long enough before driving the action forward, towards a chilling conclusion. ... full review