Machinal Movement

Hot dog!

The pace of this play is very quick.   It reminds me of a witty sitcom that keeps a very quick pace to keep the audience’s attention.  Reminiscent of Will and Grace.  Very modern.  Very quick.  The first glimpse into the mind of the “Young Woman” continues with the same pace and does not complete any of her thoughts and I noted that although she is thinking her thoughts aloud, the playwright allows the sounds of the office to continue.  I believe that utilization of this structure invites the audience to see how life continues to move all around you regardless of the inner struggles you may have to combat.  Reading it may seem underwhelming because those sounds are mute to us but if you think about actually watching this play out on stage it would accurately depict how life truly plays out, swift and unyielding.

I believe that the pace of the whole piece underscores the machine like nature we eventually undertake once we’ve been engrossed in the repetitious daily routines of life.  Jones says in Episode one – haste makes waste – which presents irony – every scene is hasty! Voices cut short – thoughts unfinished – hastily.

In the second scene, one would think that in the comfort of her home the Young Woman could slow her pace – but no!  Her mother is just as relentless as her co workers, she is cut off before she finishes her sentences and although the dialogue changes over very quickly, she says very little.  As quickly as the dialogue moves, so does the story.  Choppy.  Incomplete.  The Young Woman is the only one thus far the veers off from how society dictates a woman should respond in these circumstances she is presented.  She wants love.  She is conflicted though because as she keeps saying, “…I got to marry somebody – all girls do.” Her mother thinks she’s crazy.

The same time the conversation happens with her mother

– with a quick shift –

we hear a wife and husband talking which almost acts as a response to the conversation about love, relationships. Hot dog!  This is an ingenious tool because although the main character does receive a response from her mother the unseen characters provide – not a answer per say – but a response to show a husband and wife relationship play out, regardless of it being less than ideal – it’s real.

The there’s a shift in attitude from the Young Woman – somewhat humble – to homicidal.  I believe the movement – pace of the play – is what propels the play and keeps the audience intrigued from Episode one – to two – to three.

Hot dog!


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