Lifeline Theatre presents the world premiere adaptation, THE CITY & THE CITY. Inspector Tyador Borlu is investigating an American student’s death. The disfigured student has been found in the gutters in the city of Beszel. Or is it UI Qoma? Two cities coexist in the same geographic area. The citizens of each city are governed by separate political powers and cultural practices. The inspector must uncover each city’s truth and confront the secret power known as Breach. THE CITY & THE CITY is a sci-fi tale of two cities.
The Hugo Award-winning author, China Mieville, penned this combination of weird fiction and police procedural drama for his terminally ill mother. The fantasy has a near-futuristic feel as rebel factions form their own governing authority. Adaptor Christopher Walsh (no relation) attacks the complex material to get it into digestible bites. Ten actors perform twenty+ roles in this paranormal crime story. Walsh does an admirable job of dropping the audience into the weird world to solve a mystery. Under the direction of Dorothy Milne, the cast straddle the supernatural great divide. Although Chris Hainsworth (Dhatt) is especially noteworthy as a fierce enforcer, I remained disconnected through most of this show. Not being a sci-fi specialist, I had trouble navigating down the streets of Beszel and UI Qoma. It was hard for me to let go and let Breach. I just didn’t get it.
I’m a huge fan of Lifeline. The only other Lifeline show I didn’t really care for was “Mrs. Caliban,” which was also fantasy based. This show will appeal to a certain audience. THE CITY & THE CITY has cult following potential for sci-fi channel lovers. I’m just not it’s target population. I’ll geek out over “Three Musketeers” at Lifeline this Spring.
Running Time: Two hours and ten minutes includes an intermission
At Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood
Based on the novel by China Mieville
Adapted by Christopher M. Walsh
Directed by Dorothy Milne
Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30pm
Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm
Sundays at 4pm
Thru April 7th
Buy Tickets at www.lifelinetheatre.com