Odd Man Out


Peter Tate in Odd Man Out. Image by Stephanie Eagan.




Odd Man Out opens with maniacal laughter in the darkness. The lights go up and a man sits in a chair: he is gray and dressed in somewhat shabby clothes. He seems to be calling for a cat that is reluctant to go to him. He wheedles, but the cat runs off. He rages.


Peter Tate cycles from tender, empathetic and lucid to vengeful and desperate throughout the show. In another actor’s hands, the rawness of his laughter and grief in a small theatre might alienate or overwhelm the audience. Tate, however, is perfectly measured and draws the audience into his story, right into his gut sometimes.

The show is ostensibly a conversation between the solo actor and an unseen character who helped him after a fall in the street and accompanied him home. The monologue feels more like a symbolic rumination over a life that hasn’t gone as he wished, filled with regret, longing, hope, and despair. This man has clearly been alone for some time and might be blaming himself for his situation. The fact that we’re not sure whether the visitor is real, or whether he exists in the present, or is perhaps a memory allows multiple entry points for the audience to empathize with Tate: his anger, disappointment, or odd, undiminished hope that he will one day feel peace again. Tate does so much by simply modulating his voice, shifting his gaze, and pacing in tight circles. He successfully paints a lifetime of yearning in the small, blank room with small motions.


"Odd Man Out "

Performed by Peter Tate

Written by Peter Efthymiou

Produced by The Playground Theatre

October 7, 2022

https://unitedsolo.org/odd-man-out



The 13th United Solo Festival

October 4- November 20, 2022

Theatre Row

410 West 42nd (btw 9th and 10th Avenue)

https://bfany.org/theatre-row/shows/united-solo-theatre-festival-2022/

https://unitedsolo.org/the-13th-annual-united-solo-theatre-festival/


 


STEPHANIE EAGAN is a professional writer based in NJ. A fan of every type of live performance imaginable, from taiko drumming to political performance art, she travels the tri-state area and beyond in search of music, art, theater, and excellent coffee.