Attempts on her Life is a modern experimental theatrical play written in 1997 by Martin Crimp. It consists of monologues, adverts, musical numbers, and runway walks to describe, ask, and portray who Anne might be. Although Anne doesn’t appear, the enigma of her identity is explored by the sinister cast who seeks to unearth who she is.
Director Wallin makes the play come to life through the avid use of space and 10 cast members. The cast is constantly active and cover various parts of the stage in between the two audiences; they even sit in the front rows of the seats during the play. It doesn’t seem to matter whether or not we see the front or the backs of the actors because their expressions, body movements, and projections seem to engulf the stage and convey their message to the audience.
Although the cast is small, their constant role changes throughout the 17 scenes make the play more dynamic and create a theme of temporality as they question identity and social reality. Each actor embodies an eclectic bunch of characters propelling the fragmented and nonlinear narrative that explores who Anne is, whether she is a suicide, murder victim, porn star, etc. The play engages its audience in the sense that they have to figure out what kind of character the actors are portraying in each scene, and which aspect of Anne they are describing. What is more, the lighting at one point of the play is directed at the audience asking us to examine our own identities and how our social reality is constructed. The yellow spotlight encircles the whole Zellerbach Playhouse, exposing each audience member to the viewers across from them on the opposite side of the stage while the play is still in action. The modern music as well adds to the stylistic play with its modern beats of electronic, hip hop, pop, and other eerie tunes.
Come and enjoy this enthralling performance and be captivated by the spontaneity of the play! Its stylistic script writing is exceptional and invokes deep thoughts and feelings with its unconventionality—it’s different from other plays!