Written for Whatsonstage.com
A one-act play by American writer Murray Schisgal, 74 Georgia Avenue is an intriguing and surprising two-man play. Taking place in the house of Joseph and his wife, the peace is unexpectedly disturbed by an unknown visitor, Marty. When it transpires that 74 Georgia Avenue was Marty’s childhood home, Joseph is initially hostile towards him. As it happens, however, the two have more in common than first meets the eye.
Joseph reveals a series of ‘dibbuks’ to Marty, during which the souls of three dead men inhabit his body. Deftly played by Nathan Clough, this is an unusual conceit and one we must buy into in order for the play to bear meaning. His delineation of the different characters is clear, and these encounters with another world ignite our curiosity.
We witness the gradual coming together of two men who are both imprisoned by their wives. Forming an unlikely rapport, they explore aspects of their shared history. Switching between the mundane and the surreal, this is a difficult play to get right. Sometimes the lighting changes in this small space are a little overbearing, and the transitions between the naturalistic and the supernatural are marked slightly too heavily. The constraints of a short play are self-evident, but the lack of resolution and brevity of background information we are given make this play feel like the beginning of something, rather than a complete story in itself.