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Arts/Culture

Theater Talk: Actor Rick Lattimer on the dystopian FOXFINDER at New Phoenix and his favorite roles

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The contemporary play FOXFINDER by British playwright Dawn King is available to stream from New Phoenix Theatre and is the dystopian story of paranoia and fear of an unseen enemy. Actor Rick Lattimer sees strong parallels with the Q-Anon phenomenon which fueled the paranoia which led to the January 6th storming of the U.S. Capitol.

Presented via Vimeo by the New Phoenix Theater,
https://www.newphoenixtheatre.org/
 where it was filmed, there are four more showings of FOXFINDER by British playwright Dawn King, directed by Mike Doben:  Friday and Saturday, April 30 and May 1  and May 7and 8.  Unlike some offerings, viewing is limited to the day selected with each ticket sold just for the day of the performance.  The link is usually sent around 5 pm and you have only that evening to watch the performance, as in a regular run.  This “day of” system was stipulated in the contract from the play’s London agent.  The runtime is well under 2 hours.

THE STORY: Farm quotas are not being met and some of the more obvious reasons, such as flooding, are dismissed. This year's missed quota could be next year's collapse. To prevent the imminent demise of England’s farming economy, the government has dispatched “Foxfinders” to find and remove the designated cause of the problem – foxes. Sound absurd? The very absence of evidence (nobody has seen a fox nor heard a fox nor seen fox tracks - neither the farmers, nor the Foxfinders themselves) is simply proof of the fox's cunning and subtle ways.  In fact, denying that foxes are on your farm simply means that you are a collaborator and that they have you under their power.

And so we meet Judith and Samuel Covey (Stefanie Warnick and Rick Lattimer) who have failed to meet harvest targets and now, following up on an ominous letter, must feed and house a trained “Foxfinder,” William Bloor (Zach Thomas) as he starts his investigation.  As Judith tries to discuss the situation with her husband, Samuel starts behaving more and more like a Q-Anon believer himself.  Will her sympathetic neighbor Sarah (Rachel Buchanan) provide some clarity, or will she too succumb to the paranoia?

This is not new territory for Dawn King, who has adapted Aldous Huxley’s BRAVE NEW WORLD for the stage, created what was described as "an immersive rave" called DYSTOPIA987, and has a play call CIPHERS described by The Guardian as “An ingenious thriller about spies, surveillance and doubleness.”

And it's not new territory for Mike Doben who has directed the dystopian MERCURY FUR as well as FARENHEIT451.  Doben also likes to use the same actors and gets good performances out of them.

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