Threatening yet thought provoking at the same time, Visceral Company’s premiere of Kill Me combines excellent acting and very dark subject matter to examine the horrors and ravages caused by mental illness.
Cam (Natasha Charles Parker) experiences an horrific car accident, emerging from a coma convinced that beings from another dimension have made her immortal. Her sister Wendy (Angela Stern) and lover Grace (Jonica Patella) suspect she is suffering from mental illness. How do we escape the demons torturing us, and are they real, or merely figments of our imagination?
Director Dan Spurgeon injects a strong sense of danger and darkness from the beginning, keeping the production off-kilter and energetic. He draws vivid performances from the three women. Patella gives Grace a questioning, trusting vulnerability, contrasting nicely with Stern’s controlling, tough Wendy. Parker’s Cam effectively moves from anxiously shaky to downright destroyed and broken.
Production work is first-rate, really selling the story. John McCormick’s sinister sound effects, Dave Sousa’s foreboding and spooky lighting, and Ben Womick and Jana Wimer’s simple but evocative set design bring a visceral realism to the piece. Erica D. Schwartz’s costume design and Wimer’s makeup work are both frightening and hokey at the same time.
The production is strictly for mature audiences only because of extremely intense subject matter and graphic language.
Kill Me features fine performances and spot-on design work for those who enjoy horror and gory subject matter or the exploration of the dark interiors of the human mind.
The Visceral Company presents Kill Me Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. through June 2 at the Lex Theatre located at 6760 Lexington Ave. in Hollywood. Tickets cost $20, and advance tickets are available for purchase at thevisceralcompany.com.