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Never Go Crooked: A Theatrical Exploration of Hybristophilia / Elinor S. Martin

DOI (Published version): 10.23889/Suthesis.52435

Abstract

The stage play Never Go Crooked is a dramatic exploration of the plight of a young woman, Jennifer, who is dangerously drawn to a man, who is serving a prison sentence for the murder of his partner. The play takes the form of a series of direct-to-the-audience addresses by Jennifer, her sister Heath...

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Published: 2019
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa52435
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Abstract: The stage play Never Go Crooked is a dramatic exploration of the plight of a young woman, Jennifer, who is dangerously drawn to a man, who is serving a prison sentence for the murder of his partner. The play takes the form of a series of direct-to-the-audience addresses by Jennifer, her sister Heather, her friend Claire and her mother Rose. These are inter-cut with active scenes from the memories of each of these women, and with the after-death presence of the murdered woman, Maria. The primary dramaturgical device is that Jennifer, Rose, Heather and Claire are each speaking individually to a psychologist who has been assigned the task of investigating Jennifer’s behaviour. The audience is addressed as if it is the psychologist. Dramatic tension and forward motion in the play is created through our knowledge that the man, Leon really did kill Maria, and that, whatever her motivation, Jennifer is placing herself in an increasingly hazardous situation. She is safe provided Leon remains in prison, but can we be sure of that? Thus, the play has a present tense (the addresses to audience) a past timeframe (the memory scenes) and a projected future of danger, all haunted by Maria’s presence. It should be noted that early drafts of the play had Leon as a present character. In the final draft he is an unseen threat. Thus all on stage characters are women. The Dramaturgical section of this thesis considers the best possible methods of portraying the story. For example, while naturalism works most successfully for the dialogue, the staging required a different approach, tending towards magic realism. As is made clear in the exegesis, the primary motivation for writing Never Go Crooked was to highlight the condition sometimes known as Bonnie and Clyde syndrome, or, more technically, Hybristophilia.
Keywords: Bonnie and Clyde syndrome, Hybristophilia, naturalism, realism, magic-realism
College: College of Arts and Humanities