Neil Labute’s ‘The Shape of Things’ is a powerful play. It is a harsh view on relationships, the nature of change, and human interaction. It is a dig at social inclusion, an analysis of human behaviour, and it makes for some uncomfortable viewing at times.
But even if the words are great, what makes a play a good play is the actors. Shakespeare can be excellent, but without a good company on stage, his plays can become tedious and horrendous. It is a good thing then, that SPL have provided us with an excellent production.
Adam meets Evelyn. He is a nerd, a nobody, while she is a confident and flirtatious art student. They fall for each other, they start dating, and suddenly Adam starts to change. He becomes more ‘normal’. Goes to the gym, buys better clothes… Can people change free-willinginly, or do we change our partners when we start a relationship?
The simple set, and background video add to the immediacy and rawness of the text, and all the performances are just about perfect. Kira Sternbach as Evelyn deserves praise, if not for her whole performance, without a doubt for her last ten minutes, when she speaks to the audience. The words she says feel honest, feel hers. Her eyes don’t betray her, and her whole composure during those final moments are astonishingly beautiful.
The Shape of Things makes for some intense viewing, but SPL have created a fantastic hour, deserving of any praise that comes their way.
Adrian G. Velazquez