“Cop Piece: Undercover Mime,” the new play from Greenpoint company Lilac Co and St. John’s Theatre, delves into the frenetic cohabitation of two marginalized, unsteady characters who claim to be on the run: David, a former beat cop, and Cleo, a vampish malcontent in the fragrance industry.
“We all go through periods that can’t be skirted,” David declares in an unusually lucid moment, and this principle underlies the pair’s expression of and assault on their afflictions with a variety of dubious tactics. “I love pornography. Maybe, with that love, we can build something,” Cleo opines. It doesn’t happen.
What does happen is a descent into delusion that poses questions about how we respond to trauma. Acted by playwright Sean Edward Lewis, David slips in and out of the character of René René, a mime, whom Cleo alternately undermines and supports. By building a new world out of air within damaged surroundings, does the mime prepare for reemergence, or manifest imprisonment? We’ll have to wait for the next play to find out—”Undercover Mime” is the second in an ongoing series—but the exhaustive effort of Lewis and co-lead Laura Murphy makes for an electric episode. Despite the mimetic interludes, their characters are like cats in a cage.
The play continues its month-long run tonight through Sunday.
Lilac Co and St. John’s Theatre
94 Norman Ave, Greenpoint
All shows begin at 8pm (suggested donation of $10).