Screw Your Courage! (or The Bloody Crown!)

In this one-woman show, Klahr Thorsen takes her audience on a whirlwind journey that dips and glides – sometimes gracefully, sometimes not – between fiction and personal history. In her show, Thorsen attempts to fit herself into the character of Lady Macbeth, and fit that character into her own life story.

much of Thorsen’s performance is too slow to warrant its many indulgences

Thorsen’s show is often curious, though not necessarily in a good way. For example, during the moments when she steps into the persona of a sort of narrator outside of herself, spinning lines of rhyming as she ‘spins’ the story between her and the audience; it feels like a bit of a snore. Odd, but not particularly entertaining.

To be fair, Thorsen does manage to tug her show in the right direction from time to time. There are moments of chuckle-inducing entertainment, when she provides punchlines that manage to stick, and sublime moments of performed insanity toward the end of her show. In these moments, Thorsen displays an impressive range of emotion as she transitions from the character version of herself, to the version of herself as Lady Macbeth: here one moment, then careening off to Mars.

Unfortunately, much of Thorsen’s performance is too slow to warrant its many indulgences to pure ego – and when the denouement finally arrives it is disappointing and full of trite narcissism. This is not to say that there are not good moments in this show. Really, there are many. For a production which was ostensibly quite low-budget, Thorsen manages to pump out a good deal of drama between a number of often-interesting characters. She juggles all these characters with great skill, performing them with a range of convincing accents – some silly, some deadly serious.

In some ways, this one-woman show is an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the effort that goes into a Fringe show (if any of what Thorsen is saying has any truth behind it), but too much of it is annoyingly self-centered and slow to generate much audience interest. All in all, while Thorsen’s show engages in some occasionally compelling discourse with Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the end result is dreadfully boring. As the 50 minutes wears on, the audience is left with a show that might have been average (due to some occasional compelling moments) but which ends up dashing already low expectations. 

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The Blurb

In this one-woman show, a Brooklyn actress confronts her most stubborn demons. Cursed with an unshakeable obsession to triumph in the role of Lady Macbeth, will she finally come to terms with Shakespeare’s most misunderstood heroine? Or will she succumb to madness, Serbians and enchanted bagpipers? Warning: Contains drama and insanity.