The Pit is both funny and unsettling. In this surreal play, writer Martin Dockery and Vanessa Quesnelle play a man and woman who are presumably married, but all their memories have been left forgotten in photo albums. The man cannot get out of bed, the woman who cannot pick out clothes for work and a mysterious roaming pit appears to be devouring the world. The man and woman cannot seem to fit the structure of their world or each other’s desires, and their inadequacies are highlighted by shadow characters.
The man and woman are uncomfortably disconnected at the top of the show. Their ‘marriage,’ routinized and emptied of meaning, lacks warmth. Thankfully, Dockery and Quesnelle are exceptional actors and beautifully grow their characters’ relationship. The story is also absurdly funny at times, providing relief.
The audience watches the woman and man living in a box – we can see their partial knowledge and watch them figuring out the bounds of their existence. But viewers may become uncomfortably aware of their own limits and existence. The pit may come to represent death, depression or the monotony of normal, routinized life.
While watching the show was uncomfortable, on reflection I’m glad to have seen it. I was reminded of the value of human connection and the importance of reflecting on life’s routines.
The Pit plays at Fairfield Hall (1303 Fairfield Rd.). For showtimes, click here.