by Richard Sanford
Red Herring continues its mission of bringing less-performed (in Columbus) classics to our stages with a crackling, brutal production of David Harrower’s debut Knives in Hens, directed by Penny Napoli.
This tight, hundred-minute (no intermission) play centers on a rural village in a pre-industrial but post-printing press time. An unnamed young woman (Jordan Davis), married to the village plowman Pony William (Sean Taylor), finds herself drawn to the miller, Gilbert Horn (Scott Willis).
Davis’ young woman’s innate curiosity and wit runs her up against a society (even in her own marital bed) that would rather she stay where she is. That lust for knowing – wanting to name everything and find its true definition, its true heart – draws up groundswells of strength but also destruction, a painful casting-off of heavy, dead skin.
by Sheldon Gleisser
Saw "Knives in Hens" at Red Herring Theater, and found I had to grapple with it a bit. It's a tough play for the Bachelor's Degree'd likes of me to simply sum up and review.
Written by David Harrower, "Knives in Hens" takes place in a kind of Scottish never-never land. We aren't given a date or time, but for the people in "the Village," subsistence farming and some bit the processing of the farming product is how people make their living.
by Michael Grossberg
Red Herring Productions illuminates “Knives in Hens” with stabs of poetic power, but David Harrower’s brooding romantic triangle remains a dark drama indeed.
Penny Napoli’s taut direction propels the Ohio premiere of the 1995 play, which opened Friday at the Franklinton Playhouse, as a timeless journey of enlightenment that evokes biblical fable.
The Scottish playwright may be best known for “Blackbird,” another drama of sexual awakening, deception and revenge.