An homage to Beat novelist William S. Burroughs, and inspired by “sick” humorists, absurdist theatre, and underground cartoons, Delusion of Darkness plays like a film noir …on acid. The negligible plot—revolving around telepathic “senders” and “receivers” and, if they exist, whether they serve as revolutionary, liberating forces or mind-control devices—really serves as a framework to support riffs—satirical encounters with corrupt or deranged authoritarian figures or otherwise “delusionary” individuals, seen through Murphy’s, hardboiled detective-cool eyes. There’s nothing but losers in this town, but, oh, the way they lose it.
Said encounters include:
- Homicidal paramedics who harvest human organs;
- A disgustingly offensive police inspector who self-incinerates;
- A painfully withdrawn stripper who breaks out in stigmata;
- A drunken bishop hawking absolution like a crack dealer;
- A shotgun-wielding bartender who occasionally morphs into a centipede; and
- A blind woman who receives orgasm-inducing telepathic signals from invisible aliens.
None of this, despite a wicked barb or two, is meant to be taken remotely seriously. Rather, it takes the audience on a wild, uninhibited, hopefully entertaining funhouse rise through an unforgettable, liminal universe, operating under Burroughs’ dictim: “Everything is permitted. Nothing is forbidden.”
Full-length dark comedy. Five women, five men, room for actors to double on some parts.
Note: Delusion of Darkness has more or less sold out all of its productions. Which just goes to show that you can entice an audience with sex, drugs, violence, nudity, non-stop profanity, gunfire, explosions, severed body parts, hallucinatory lighting effects, utter disrespect for public servants, derogatory portrayals of extraterrestrials, Catholic jokes, and jazz.
- July-August 2001, Back Door Theater, Portland, Oregon; full production, five-week run.
- August 2004, Jobsite Theatre, Tampa, Florida; full production, four-week run.
- August-September 2005, Dramasoc at Creation, Christchurch, New Zealand; full production, three-week run.
- Critics Choice: Portland Oregonian, Portland Mercury, Portland State University Vanguard, and Vancouver Columbian.
- 2001: “Welcome To A Cozy Corner Of Hell…bizarre, wickedly satiric…Nightmarish Acid Noir Comedy Exudes Of William Burroughs’ Influence…dark, dank and teertering right at the edge of insanity…the ultraviolent comedy lays waste to social taboos, tabloid culture and ordinary consciousness with all the grace and beauty of a bad drunk at a funeral.”