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Between the Idea and the Reality

The Alley's Keely and Du contrasts the theological idea and the bodily reality of abortion

Finally, although's he's present for only one long, crucial scene, John Feltch as Cole gives once again a terrific performance, an intensified piece of work that verges on the hallucinatory. Keely's denunciations have prepared us for an unredeemable brute of a man beyond human caring. With that introduction Feltch somehow manages, with an air of drowning desperation and near-crazed abjection written in his face, manner and voice, to convince us momentarily that even the wounded and bound Keely cannot possibly resist him. The moment is so carefully sustained by the two actors that her vengeance and his reaction, when they come, crash like thunderbolts. In that dank basement in that small arena, it is indeed a hard-earned moment of high drama.

After that striking climax and its immediate aftermath, Martin appends a brief, distracting epilogue. Apparently in a desire for even-handedness, she drifts from awful energy back to ambivalence. But a play is not an equation, required to balance its terms. It is a physical investigation of the invisible, and in Keely and Du, King, Fitzpatrick, Hardy and Feltch form a brave crew of intrepid explorers.

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