Fringe review: ‘The Blood Feather,’ Uncarved Block Productions, Clermont, FL
By Elizabeth Maupin
The kind of horror no person should have led to Sarai Goley’s writing The Blood Feather, a first-person account of her relationship with an abusive boyfriend and her difficulty in breaking free. Like the Fringe’s other solo show about sexual violence, T-O-T-A-L-L-Y, The Blood Feather can make you reel, and it can bring your own blood to a boil. Only Goley’s inexperience in writing and staging her own show keeps this drama from having the impact it could have.
Goley is turning 26 at the beginning of her play: She works at a restaurant, hangs with her friends and lives with a man who has nothing good to say to her. He abuses her verbally, disapproves of everything she does and every so often beats her. And, despite what seems to be a loving family and supportive friends, she can’t make herself leave.
As a performer, Goley can be lively and graceful (she’s especially funny at the top of the show when she dances in what’s supposed to be a cocaine-induced mania), and she tells her story with conviction. But the script is prosaic to a fault: There are long stretches when the conversations are little more than “WTF.” And an experience director might have led her not to try to play herself and the boyfriend in the same scene, looking one way and then the other, an effect that comes off less serious than silly.
The Blood Feather moves slowly, but the long scenes with the nasty boyfriend give you time to think: Why is this woman sticking around with a brute when she has family and friends? Why do women (and some men) stay in physically abusive relationships? There are few answers here – but Goley allows important questions to be asked.
Remaining performances: 7 p.m. Wednesday 5/26, 6:30 p.m. Friday 5/28, 2:20 p.m. Saturday 5/29, noon Sunday 5/30. Pink venue.