Gad's Hill presented and Christopher Cartmill hosted four site specific performances of Barbara Hammond's BEYOND THE PALE in the historic rectory of Saint Peter's Chelsea. The entire rectory stood in for a manor house in Northern Ireland between the mountains and the sea and the audience moved through the house along with the actors. This extraordinary experience was directed by Kevin Kittle and was part of the 1st Irish Festival. Cartmill was the guide and host for the evening.
A description of the production by Shaun B. Wilson --
"This past Friday I had the opportunity to see Barbara Hammond's new play "Beyond the Pale" at St. Peter's Rectory in Chelsea, part of the 1st Irish 2009 Theatre Festival in NY. Almost as soon as the play began, I realized that I had been led astray. This was not a play. This was one of those dreams that feels like a film or a palpably familiar trip to a place you've never been. This was an invited invasion into the lives of others. This was, quite simply, an experience. The play took place in an Irish Manor house in Northern Ireland and began in the back garden. We, the audience, found our places among the walkways and shrubs as the play began and moved with the cast through the first floor of the manor throughout the course of the play. We were no longer audience members, but a fog moving through the countryside of Ireland, gently oppressing the manor's inhabitants. In what I feel is a stroke of genius, the convention of the audience's close proximity to the cast mirrored the railing against a silent heaven that dwelt in the play. The three main characters, Siobhan, Terry, and Declan seemed as if they were trying to escape from or engage with some invisible force that hemmed them in, watched them, and never spoke. This convention also left no room for the actors to be false or distracted, or for the dialogue to be tricked up and stiff as we were no less than three feet away from them at all times. The entire creative team rose to the challenge quite successfully. It was a beautiful whisper of a play, simple and true."
For a slide show of the event check out the home page at www.barbarahammond.com