This is a play about a writer, the girl he loves and the characters in his head. Writer is recovering from writer’s block and reunites in his head his two characters: a protagonist called Virtue and an antagonist wearing red contact lenses called - ah yes - Satan. Virtue and Satan perform on the other side of the stage as Writer writes various scenarios for them. Then Writer introduces the character of Lover, a girl with five freckles on her cheek in the shape of an hourglass.
The script, which I believe is writer Conor Clancy’s first full-length, could do with some further refining. There’s a point in the middle where the plot is not really being propelled and sometimes the dialogue is too wordy, but good performances make up for it.
Meanwhile, in the “real world” - the world outside his head - Writer is in love with Lily, who also has five freckles on her face and is the inspiration for the character. Unfortunately, Lily has an odious guitar-playing boyfriend with a ridiculous name.
This piece is well staged and performances are consistent. There are some lovely moments of humour: a character dressed as an elephant enters the room at inopportune times, and after repeatedly seeing actors mime opening the Writer’s office door, there’s the line: “You really have to look into getting a real door.”
Most of the characters have a clear goal: Writer wants to win Lily’s heart, Virtue wants Lover, and Satan is searching for a key; we anticipate an evil plan. What Lily wants is not clear. Lover wants Virtue as a projection of Writer’s desires… so does this mean then that Virtue is in love with her because it is written that way – or is he going off script? It’s slightly confusing here – particularly as we are not sure to begin with if Lily and Lover are the same girl crossing worlds, or two versions of her. This could be because the characters of Writer and Lily don’t feel “real” enough for the real world and are in stark enough contrast to the characters who exist in Writer’s head. The script, which I believe is writer Conor Clancy’s first full-length, could do with some further refining. There’s a point in the middle where the plot is not really being propelled and sometimes the dialogue is too wordy, but good performances make up for it.
Architects and Anarchists is a whimsical, slightly absurd view into a writer’s mind and what happens when they lose control of the story and their characters.