POST: 'Knives in Hens' - leave things the way they are
What it's about.
Knives in the Hen is about a young married couple who start out really happy but, because her husband's manhood is so fragile, he freaks out on her when she decides she wants to learn about the world. Then enters a mysterious dude with a cool pen and shit hits the fan. (P.S. It has absolutely nothing to do with knives or hens)
So what I didn't know about theater is that there's this thing called "general seating". Which meant I could sit wherever I pleased - so you know I sat in the front. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love small theaters. When I walked in, there was less than 100 seats, and there wasn't a stage. The actors were performing 2 feet away from the first row. It was different than the sets I've seen before. There was a lot of symmetry going on with the doors and many bags of flour. I was digging the whole vibe.
The show started with this contemporary dance that could've been a couple fighting or having sex... I really couldn't tell. But after the dance, I saw that they were in fact having sex. They were also very much in love. They bickered and talked about fields, it was actually endearing. The woman was obsessed with asking why things are named the way they are, and finding new names for things, and her husband didn't like it. He kept telling her to leave things the way they are.
Everything seemed really cute until her husband told her that she had to take the grain to the miller. So, the wife freaked out because the villagers had told her that the miller had killed his own wife and children. But because she loves her husband, she goes. When she gets there, the miller looks identical to her husband. I really thought it was the same actor until I checked the playbill. The miller is really intellectual and he made fun of her for being scared of a pen. But eventually he got her to use the pen to write her name. We never find out what her name is, only that she was "named beautifully". That's when things go downhill. She started to notice how trashy her husband actually was. He hardly ever talked to her if it wasn't about work or telling her to stop thinking. Soon, that "sex dance" that I saw in the beginning is done over and over but gets shorter and shorter... #tragic.
But the play goes back to her writing her name, and it signified a big shift in the show, for me. That was the first time that she does something that made her truly happy. It was so sacred to her that she kept the paper where she wrote her name. Even when she rips it up in a fit of anger, she picks up every single piece and keeps it.
Her crying and picking up the shreds of what she wrote resonated with me the most. It took me a while to fully grasp why it resonated so much. Seeing the wife's anger and need for freedom reminded me of how much the world bashes on women. She was the main character and we never even find out her name! Yet we know her husband's name. He doesn't even make it to the end of the show! Just because Eve ate that stupid fruit, guys have this idea that they can control us and it makes it so hard for us to be respected. So men... pull it together because we're all sick of your crap.
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