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Theatre Review: Conk and Bone and uneasy waiting

Anne Evans Anne Evans Theatre Review: Conk and Bone and uneasy waiting
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Raconteur Theatre opened their final play of 2012 last night, Conk and Bone on a windy, rainy evening. Conk (Jim Coe) and Bone (Robert Philpott) have agreed to help Death – named Rod (Ian Stratton)- with a taking a couple of bodies across the river Styx. Director Jason Speicher’s decision to stage the play in the middle of the room means that you may be caught up in the violent actions of your entertainers.

Coe and Philpott have a bit more of a son and father-figure relationship than just friends. Bone is young and pouty, questioning most of what they are doing, questions he apparently asks every time. Conk answers him every time. Although for this job, Conk tells Bone to stay in the room with him.

The story takes place in a room between times. Death brings them people who are dying or already dead, and Conk and Bone prepare them for their meeting with the Skeleton Man (Charon) who escorts the dead across the river Styx, into Hades. As long as you can pay.

You kind of have to wonder why Death can’t get better help, but I don’t suppose many want to take on a deal with Death. In Conk’s words, “If Death offers you a drink, are you going to take it?” Something he should have mentioned to Bone a little earlier on.

Stratton plays Death as a commanding maniac. He’s demanding, crazy, violent, and all around insane. If you sit near the middle of the room, you will definitely feel uneasiness for the entirety of the play. At times, it was a bit much for me. I don’t enjoy worrying if my drink is going to get knocked over or if someone is going to knock a chair into me by accident. But it may be exciting to some.

Death brings in Achilles (Dominic Joshua) as one of the people that needs assisting. Joshua does not get many lines, but he has the sexy Greek warrior look down.

Probably against his better judgment, Conk leaves Bone in charge of watching the captives. Bone screws up, things get testy, and everything pretty much goes wrong.

Robert Philpottas as Bone (left to right) Ian Stratton as Rod, Dominic Joshua as Achilles and Jim Coe as Conk in Raconteur Theatre’s Conk & Bone- tale of two hapless men from New Orleans preparing the dead to meet Charon. By Joe Musso. Credit: Raconteur Theatre.

It’s touching seeing Conk trying to bargain with Death to save his friend. Even though everyone knows that Death always wins.

If you’re looking for a night of uneasiness with some vulgarities sprinkled in, Conk and Bone has you covered.

Raconteur Theatre Company presents Joe Musso’s Conk & Bone, the tale of two hapless men from New Orleans preparing the dead to meet Charon at 7:30 p.m. October 19-20, 7:30 p.m. October 25-27, 2:30 p.m. Sunday October 28, and 7:30 p.m. November 1-3 at Club Diversity’s Theatre (863 S. High St., Columbus 43206). Tickets are $15 for adults or $10 for students and seniors. For tickets call 614-656-2228 or visit www.rtheatre.org.

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