A Beginner’s Guide to Suicide
An attempted suicide is an unlikely premise for a comedy, but this production mostly works.
For maximum comedic effect, though, a production needs to move quickly enough to stop the audience from dwelling on the dark side, and this production moved too slowly for my taste. Part of the reason for the lack of energy is the relatively static direction, and part is the wordiness of the text. Too often characters gave speeches instead of interacting with the other characters. The script’s strength lies in the web of circumstance that brings six characters together, and the comedic sparks that fly when those characters interact with other characters’ opposing desires.
Another thing that helped the production was the actors’ commitment to their characters. The characters are all necessarily on the edges of normalcy, but the actors presented the humanity behind their characters’ extreme situations.