Plan on a little extra time to get to Little Thing, Big Thing, the current offering from The Midnight Company. It’s in a film studio near Jefferson and I-64, rather off the beaten path. This sort of thing drives some people crazy. Me, I like it. There’s a certain Insider feel to locations like this, and if you’ve never been in such a place before, it’s pretty interesting. Note, for example, how sound changes when you walk from the hallway into the actual studio, the result of serious insulation so things being filmed don’t have intrusions from, say, sirens.
The Midnight Company often works at such venues. It’s part of their overall style, and so is Little Thing, Big Thing. From the Irish author Donal O’Kelley, it’s a two-person show. Joe Hanrahan and Rachel Tibbetts play several characters.
Mainly, though, they’re Larry, recently out on parole, and Sister Martha, just back to Ireland from Nigeria to handle the sale of an old convent. The play is an eccentric caper story, with a script that has the characters mostly doing their own sound effects. That takes a little getting used to on the part of the audience, but it’s rather fun seeing them casually announce “Cattle grate!”, simultaneously bouncing three or four times as they drive along, for instance.
One of Sister Martha’s students asked her to deliver a film cartridge to someone in Dublin while she’s there – the student’s dying father, owner of the film, made the request. Larry’s purloining a statue of the Virgin from the convent. But the meet cute is interrupted by someone loudly demanding Martha give HIM the film instead, and the chase is on. Did I mention Nigerian oil and a fair amount of corruption? Did I need to?
Tibbetts’ unflappable Sister Martha is very smooth, and fairly unshocked by her new associate’s remarkably filthy mouth. Perhaps it’s the circumstances. Hanrahan’s abilities are perfect for Larry, scrambling and cursing and arguing. And, oh, yes, exhibiting his gluteii maximi to the sister. Those secondary characters are generally easy to identify despite only a few costume adjustments, like a blissful appearance by Hanrahan as a leprechaun. JC Kraijcek is responsible for the costumes.
Live music from Jason Scroggins and Will Bonfiglio adds to things. Dialogue is occasionally blurry, between accents, music, and speaking very quickly, but it’s not unmanageable. Some wonderful video and lighting adds a lot, courtesy of Michael Perkins.
Ellie Schwetye directs this interesting little piece, which runs about 90 minutes without an intermission.
Little Thing, Big Thing
through February 11
The Midnight Company
2675 Scott Avenue