The Calm After The Storm...
  Sephra Alexander
FEATURES
April 2015
KINGDOM ARTS RISES TO HIGHER HEIGHTS WITH 

THE CALM AFTER THE STORM...

Jerome Alexander stuns the audience again!

 

by Sephra Alexander

The Calm After The Storm by Jerome Alexander is a highly emotive meld of romance and comedy which, through symbolism, dramatic irony, chorus and suspense, seeks to revolutionise status quo philosophies and ideologies surrounding marriage and divorce. Alexander, in this play, underscores the crushing violation of the sacrosanct, the arrogance of both male chauvinism and feminism, as well as the threat of family dysfunction—all in riveting complication—virtually erased by perplexing passion and forgiveness, in chivalrous, heart-warming dénouement.

The first literary technique in The Calm after the Storm that strikes the reader is the symbolism of its title. The use of the word "storm" highlights the turbulence (psychological and emotional), destruction and violence which take place during the play. However, the element of the ensuing calm symbolises the marital reconciliation and restoration which prevails in the play's resolution.

A primary thematic concern in The Calm After The Storm is that of infidelity. While this issue is reflected in several separate male/female relationships which assist in advancing the play's plot, the scenario upon which most of this work’s complication is established is Ann-Marie's seemingly wanton unfaithfulness to her husband, Eric, who, on the face of it, has valiantly done all in his power to procure a thriving marriage — even making a sacrifice of his prosperous singing career.

Her affair with a minor character, Terron, creates a most unpalatable predicament for Eric—whether or not he will forgive his repugnantly defiled wife and continue his marriage. During the complication which springs from this predicament, the audience, primarily through monologue, is made to empathise and sympathise with Eric, as he thrashes about in the valley of decision and trudges through consuming notions of betrayal and mockery. 

His friends, whose dispositions are heavily influenced by noxious ideals of gender stereotype, encourage him to end the relationship. However, the playwright skilfully thwarts this calamity through the sobering counsel of Matthew, who, together with his wife Mary (a level-headed, shrewd character that simultaneously advises Ann-Marie) symbolises the voice of reason. 

Through Matthew, Eric is gradually sensitised to the fact that, ironically, he may not be the only victim in the tumultuous situation. A noted device which Alexander uses to emphasise the importance of the counsel offered by Matthew and Mary is chorus. They are both made to stress fundamental truths about the institution of marriage simultaneously, causing the audience to better grasp how critically essential such mutual knowledge would be to the success of any married couple.

In repentance, Eric gallantly returns to Ann-Marie, in order to salvage his marriage. The audience, moved and captured by a prevailing mood of reconciliation, is then lifted with him in buoyant freedom and monumental strength as the matrimonial storm subsides.

However, in keeping with Alexander's idiosyncratic use of O. Henry/surprise ending (epitomised by his 2011 debut: A Twist of Faith/Fate) The Calm After The Storm concludes on an amazingly bittersweet note.

After a hugely successful run at Queens Hall in March, The Calm After The Storm returns for three nights, this time at Cipriani College Auditorium (Cipriani College of Labour and Co-Operative Studies), on Friday 1st , Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd May, 2015. Information on tickets can be obtained by calling 299-4214, 464-3946, 794-2793, 686-2724 or 725-6703 or by emailing kingdom.arts@hotmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

By: Sephra Alexander | FEATURES | April 2015


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