Off Broadway Reviews
Written in 1992 upon the death of his former partner, Mary Farl Powers (an acclaimed printmaker who died of breast cancer when she was only 43 years old), Muldoon's wide-ranging poem explores his grief and their relationship. The problem is that American audience members may be unfamiliar with Muldoon's lexicon and writing style, so it may be wise to read the poem in advance and look up any unknown words and references. Otherwise, much of the poem may be lost on such viewers.
What won't be lost is the emotionally gripping performance by Townsend, a commanding actor with a riveting presence. He and Yates have transformed the poem into a multi-sensory experience, with cryptic music by Teho Teardo, an eclectic set and costuming by Rosanna Vize, evocative lighting by Paul Keogan, edgy video design by Jack Phelan, and haunting sound design by Sinéad Diskin.
Incantata is a passionate exploration of the complexities of a relationship between two artists. It is a vivid onstage testament to their art, lives, love and loss. And who can't relate to that?