These Troubled Times

Monarch Theater Company (USA)

C nova

From 05 August 2015 to 22 August 2015

Rating: *

Review by Keith Mckenna

These troubled Times from Monarch Theater begins with an interesting idea.

What happens when a Christian with strong prejudices against gay men hears that her neighbours are leaving their children in the care of an openly gay man and decides she should do something about it?

The family consists of the white father and African-American mother who have made it clear to their interfering neighbour, the larger-than-life Mrs Raymond (played by the writer Troy Diana in drag), that they have no problems with the gay uncle looking after their children. However Mrs Raymond, already busy campaigning against young adult fiction in the local school, has other ideas.

This is a short light comedy. The brunt of its humour is the prejudices of the neighbour who is fond of quoting scripture and reminding everybody how much better and safer we will all be if we followed her interpretation of what God wants.

The show does touch on issues of trust and the meaning of family in a complex, modern society. However these are never really developed and the difficulties of the prejudice against gay men isn’t really explored.

Beginning as a realistic play that seems to promise social commentary, it turns into something closer to science fiction as weird and grisly things start to happen in the small Florida town.