Fringe Review: Dead Talks

Unconvincing acting and a cliché script prevent show's timely themes from emerging clearly

DEAD TALKS by Rebecca Becket Grace and Josh M. Morris (Roar in the Woods). Tarragon Mainspace. July 6 at 10:30 pm, July 8 at 3:15 pm, July 10 at 6:30 pm, July 12 at 4 pm, July 14 at 7 pm, July 15 at noon. See listing. Rating: NN

With the rise of the #MeToo movement the drama Dead Talks – which looks at an abusive man in power reeking of Harvey Weinstein-esque menace – has the potential to be an engaging story. But a cliché script and unconvincing acting hurt the show’s important themes from emerging clearly.

At the pearly gates moments after their deaths, publishing honcho Ben (Josh M. Morris) and aspiring writer Sylvie (Kimberley Wells) wander in limbo as their guide (Maxx Finkelstein) urges them to admit to the sins they committed when they were alive.

The script’s dialogue drags with several hackneyed lines marring what could’ve been emotional moments during short monologues. Morris has trouble evoking Ben’s battle with his demons, and Finkelstein’s over-the-top acting butts heads with the show’s tone.

Most watchable is Wells’s poignant performance as an abuse victim who tries to corral the rage swirling inside her. She’s a talent to watch.

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