The Visceral Company Presents: RECALL by Eliza Clark

Lucy (Madeline Bertani) scrubs a bloody motel room carpet as mom Justine (Karen Nicole) watches TV. Photo credit: Amelia Gotham

Lucy (Madeline Bertani) scrubs a bloody motel room carpet as mom Justine (Karen Nicole) watches TV. Photo: Amelia Gotham

The Visceral Company kicks off it’s spine-chilling 2014 season with the West Coast premiere of sci-fi thriller, Recall. Written by Eliza Clark of television’s The Killing, this play is a tense 85 minute examination of the nature of family bonds versus community and whether what is good for the state is also good for the individual.

In a dystopian version of America, violent individuals are “recalled” for the good of the nation. Rumors about what happens to them are whispered. Are the missing people murdered, imprisoned, or could there be something worse?

The story centers on single mother Justine’s relationship with her temperamental teenage daughter, Lucy. On stage at the start of the show a blood soaked carpet references an unseen violent act that has just taken place. To prevent capture, the two hide out in a safe house run by David, a secretive man with a possibly threatening past. He’s a loner who quickly becomes an appealing distraction for isolated mom, Justine.

At school, Lucy forges an awkward friendship with her classmate, Quinn. Dressed in black, he’s a typical trenchcoat mafia lone wolf. A bit like Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club, he’s aloof and unsociable. Attracted to Lucy’s offbeat demeanor, he quickly begins to spill his conspiracy theories. At the same time, pretty government worker Charlotte starts to muscle in on these cozy relationships. Is she a friend, or is she working to have them recalled?

Lucy (Madeline Bertani) befriends Quinn (Kevin Grossman) in the nurse's office at her new school. Photo credit: Amelia Gotham

Lucy (Madeline Bertani) befriends Quinn (Kevin Grossman) in the nurse’s office at her new school. Photo: Amelia Gotham

Director Dan Spurgeon makes brilliant creative use of the black box theater with ingenious set design by Chris Bell. Quick transformations keep the play moving to at least five separate locations. I won’t give the trick away, but the set changes were really fun to watch.

Standout performances by Karen Nicole as Justine and Madeline Bertani as Lucy make the scenes between mother and daughter compellingly heart-breaking. What would a mother be willing to do for her child? Beautifully unsettling, the answer stayed with me long after the final curtain.

Performances at The Lex Theater in Hollywood
Friday & Saturday at 8pm
Sunday at 3pm
Now through May 4th

All tickets $25

For information and tickets