May 25, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Theater Review: The Collector:

Editor-at-Large

In 1965, William Wyler directed The Collector (based on a novel by John Fowles) starring Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar. The unforgettable film is the story of a socially retarded young man with sociopathic tendencies who works as a civil servant and collects beautiful butterflies whose wings are pinned on a display board. Recently winning an English football pool, he now has a lot of money and buys a secluded house in the countryside. However, his new fortune does not make him happy as he has been obsessing over a lovely young art student whom he eventually decides to kidnap and keep for his own viewing pleasure.

The adapted stage version by Mark Healy and directed by Edward Edwards is currently at the Ruskin Group Theatre and packs the kind of wallop that keeps your heart pounding until the end. Dane Zinter as Frederick Clegg gives a riveting performance capturing every nuance and subtlety of this highly disturbed man creating a physical life revealing his anal retentive qualities, such as constantly fixing his sweater as well as making sure everything is in its place. Clegg has gone through great pains in decorating the cellar in preparation for Miranda’s imprisonment, including stocking the closet with clothing. His quiet, soft spoken, almost cooperative exterior belies the seething violence lying just beneath his surface, making his controlled demeanor quite frightening as one could see an eruption waiting to happen.

Jaimi Paige as Miranda gives a tour-de-force performance as she struggles to find a way out of this horrific situation. With the action beginning with her kidnapping, the terror and ensuing responses to the situation is quite a challenge that Paige achieves seamlessly. From hysteria to cajoling to trying be cooperative or seductive, a broad range of touching emotional responses results in a deeply layered characterization.

Director Edwards skillfully keeps the action moving, making each moment almost spellbinding as Miranda and Frederick begin their battle of wits, but her superior education and intelligence is always a match for this cunning, sexually backward psychopath. At one point Miranda does convince Frederick that he should release her and he agrees to keep her only for a month saying, “I just have to have you stay a little longer.”

Staged in the smaller of the two theatres, set designer Edward Edwards made creative use of the limited space that actually enhances the claustrophobic experience that Miranda is feeling.

The lighting design by Chad Wood was restricted in creativity because of the constraints of the venue with the extensive use of blackouts leaving the audience sitting in the dark which, on second thought, gave one a chance to take a breath and slow down a rapidly beating heart.

A gripping script, interpreted by a most capable director, who elicited two memorable performances, makes The Collector a very exciting evening of theatre.

Ruskin Group Theatre

3000 Airport Road

Santa Monica, CA 90404

Run: Fridays & Saturdays

through March 6

Tickets: 310.397.3244

Related Posts

Film Review: The Northman

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

FILM REVIEWTHE NORTHMANRated R137 MinutesReleased April 22nd If the Vikings of 800-1000 AD had the technology, The Northman is the...

Murray Mednick’s “Three Tables”- Existentialism Meets Theatre of the Absurd

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Murray Mednick’s THREE TABLES is the newest work from the famous poet/playwright who spearheaded New York’s off-off-Broadway movement in the...

Film Review: “The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent”

April 27, 2022

April 27, 2022

FILM REVIEWTHE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENTRated R107 MinutesReleased April 22nd Watching The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, I got...

Santa Monica Auctions Showcasing World Class Fine Art at Bergamot Station Auction event.

April 22, 2022

April 22, 2022

Santa Monica Auctions is hosting its bi-annual live outdoor art auction on May 15th at Bergamot Station Arts Center. See...

Help Recruiting for Good Give Back and Join the Fun at the Sweetest Earth Day Parties Ever

April 20, 2022

April 20, 2022

By Susan Payne  Earth Day is around the corner.  For Carlos Cymerman, founder of Recruiting for Good, that means the...

Santa Monica Bead & Design Show Returns to the Fairmont Miramar!

April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

The Santa Monica Bead & Design Show will showcase a fine selection of handcraft and artisan supplies at the Fairmont...

Santa Monica to Host Venice Family Clinic’s Art Walk & Auction Gallery

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

43rd annual Venice Family Clinic Art Walk & Auction re-emerges with an art gallery and NFT auction April 15 –...

Honoring Women’s History Month With ‘Yarn Bomb’ Art Exhibit at Village Green

March 23, 2022

March 23, 2022

Local Palisadian Michelle Villemaire creates the sixth annual ‘Yarn Bomb’ exhibit at Village Green Park. See the exhibit in this...

Local Artists Honored at Legendary Women of Venice Awards

March 22, 2022

March 22, 2022

Venice Art Crawl hosts the 3rd annual Legendary Women of Venice Awards, find out who was honored in this video...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Stairway of the Stars Returns for in-Person Concert

March 16, 2022

March 16, 2022

March 19 concert will feature nearly 900 elementary, middle, and high school students By Sam Catanzaro For the first time...

Young Musicians Take the Stage at John Adams Middle School for the First Time Since March 2020

March 2, 2022

March 2, 2022

Over 150 students in grades 3–8 will be performing across six different large ensembles Nearly two years after the pandemic...

Interview With Aero Theatre’s Gwen Deglise

February 22, 2022

February 22, 2022

American Cinematheque’s Gwen Deglise talks about what the theatre has to offer community By Dolores Quintana The Aero Theatre at...