Time to Remember
Homer's The Iliad has been transformed into a 90 minute tour de force by a riveting performance by local actor Allen Walker. On a nearly empty stage, Walker plays the narrator who evokes the entire cast of characters with zesty brio. Cloaked in a dark topcoat, knitted gloves worn with holes, and slacks with tattered hems, the narrator transforms with voice and specific physicality to represent everyone from the great warrior Achilles to his sworn rival Hector to his best friend Perocles . Walker mesmerizes with his vocal prowess and his laser sighted focus, never faltering or stumbling in this dialogue rich piece. Author Dennis O'hare painted the battles vividly with words, and Walker delivers them with exciting and visceral intensity, punctuating action with a stomping lunge and keen mimed action that bring them to vivid life. If I have to nit pick, it's really that the play itself is about 20 minutes too long, but that is not the fault of Walker or his director. The pace was brisk and driving, but after the battle scenes, the material struggles to maintain the intensity without beating you over the head. The show is about the Trojan War, but really it is about all wars and the endless cycle of violence throughout human history. At one point, the narrator reels off every war throughout history to present day and Walker manages to make mere listing interesting. That's power, folks. Walker continually proves he is one of the areas top actors time and again.Directed unfussily by Rachel Eiland-Hall, this production is a fantastic calling card for the fledgling production company 9Muses, and a feather in the cap for the Northwest Florida Theatre Festival. You have one more chance to see this show on May 20th at 3:00.
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