13 March 2017

Silly Soup, by Carol Korty

My disclaimer is that I normally don't go to children's theatre, so I don't have much of a reference for reviewing Carol Korty's Silly Soup, performed by MT Pockets.

I suppose the performance quality of this production was probably pretty standard for a children's theatre performance, so I won't really discuss the performances. Instead, I'd like to focus on the play itself, which is made up of a set of ten sketches or skits, just short scenes that tell their own self-contained stories. What struck me as really interesting is that, while in children's theatre these sketches are silly, if they were written for adult theatre they would be somewhere between slapstick and theatre of the absurd.

For instance, there was one sketch where two joggers are out, and one begins to complain about the bumpy road. The other says the road is fine, and after a brief argument they finally measure the complaining jogger's legs, then ankles, then finally realize that she is wearing one running shoe and one cowboy boot. The complaining jogger asks her companion to run home and get her other pair of shoes so they can finish the run. When the other jogger returns, he brings the opposite cowboy boot and running shoe. The complaining jogger switches shoes, so that now she has a cowboy boot on the right foot and a running shoe on the left, rather than the other way around. She tells her companion to throw the other shoes away, but instead of doing so he removes his matched shoes and puts on the cast off mismatched shoes himself. When they begin their run again, both find the road bumpy. Viewing this sketch, how could we not think of Gogo's struggles with his shoes--and mistaking them for  new pair in the second half--of Beckett's absurdist masterpiece Waiting for Godot?

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