It may be that no local theater company does weird as well as Apollinaire, and Danielle Fauteux Jacques’s atmospheric and good-natured production of David Greig’s bizarre The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart is another strange feather in their one-of-a-kind cap.
Immersively staged in a Scottish pub on the Scottish borders (also designed by Fauteux Jacques), Prudencia Hart (Becca A. Lewis) is an uptight academic who ventures out into a snowstorm one strange night and finds herself face to face with the Devil himself (Keith Foster).
For several reasons, Prudencia Hart—which is told in rhyming couplets at a sometimes breakneck speed and with over-the-top Scottish accents—can feel impossible to follow, even frustratingly so. But despite the confusion, Apollinaire’s production remains compelling, mysterious, and alluringly atmospheric. It’s a fantastical fever dream complete with audience interaction and live music, including a sultry, creepy version of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” that—I’ll be honest—I wouldn’t mind hearing a few dozen more times.
Becca Lewis is fearless and charming as Prudencia, and as Colin Syme—Prudencia’s cocky suitor and, ultimately, savior—Brooks Reeves once again makes a good case that he just might be one of Boston’s most valuable theatrical assets.
Daring, rambunctious, and refreshingly odd, I still can’t get Prudencia Hart out of my head.
THE STRANGE UNDOING OF PRUDENCIA HART. THROUGH 5.4 AT APOLLINAIRE THEATRE COMPANY, 189 WINNISIMMET ST., CHELSEA. APOLLINAIRETHEATRE.COM
Theater critic for TheaterMania & WBUR’s TheArtery | Theater Editor for DigBoston | film and music critic for EDGE Media | Boston Theater Critics Association.