Lyric Stage “Or” Borders On Obscene

Or.jpgBy Garrett Turner — 10/20/2011
The Lyric Stage Company’s production of “Or” definitely isn’t for everyone. A dark
crude humor floods the audience’s ears and doesn’t let ever let up, not even at the end.
The main character Aphra Behn is played by Stacy Fisher. She is mixed up in a
web of relationships which keep her lustfully distracted from getting her play written. Behn, a former spy, is jumping into a new line of work of writing plays and she gets her first break in the middle of the show.
At the beginning of the play, King Charles II convinces Behn to give him sexual
favors for money. That sets off a chain of events. The set quickly transforms to Behn’s living quarters where chaos ensues. The gist of the play is characters enter, promiscuity ensues, and then characters exit.
Hannah Husband does a remarkable job playing two characters: Behn’s maid and Nell Gwynne, the inspiring star of Behn’splay. Husband’s ability to transform into two different characters in a single play is something worth noting. However, it is probably the only thing worth noting in this play.
Desperately trying to get her work done, Behn pawns King Charles II off on Gwynnebut not before Gwynne and Behn have their own romantic encounter. Gwyne and King Charles II retire to Behn’s bedroom just before Behn’s final relationship enters. Behn’s former lover and coworker is played by Ro’ee Levi He is running from King Charles II who wants to kill him and consoles Behn’s guidance but King Charles II is in the house. In the end, Behn is able to finish her play just in time for a threesome with King Charles II and Gwynne.
Censorship is abandoned on Director Daniel Gordon’s version of “Or” as Aphra Behn is shown as a lighthearted promiscuous woman where “doing everything but” is a consistent theme throughout the play. Oral sex, lesbianism and cursing become the focal point of the play. Unfortunately, Behn’s story of being one of the first women playwrights was completely lost. Being perverted in front of an audience can be funny but to do it the point where the play transforms to a really soft core porn is unfortunate. When Lizzy Adams wrote the play she seemed to be giddy about putting as many F bombs and oral sex jokes as possible into her play. Only in that did she succeed.