photo Sara Krulwich (NYTimes)

photo Sara Krulwich (NYTimes)

by: Sandi Durell

In an instant, our lives can suddenly change. But this is only part of the story told by the five talented actors who represent The One Year Lease Theater Company at 9th Space. The other part is more significant as it brings forth the true feelings of friends faced with the horrendous accident of their successful art buddy who lives in a lavish home, with pool and palm trees. They party naked as the rich Sally jumps into the waterless pool; instead of a splash, they hear a crack. Sally isn’t part of the actors whom we see. They are all a group of long time friends and art students trying to make their way up the ladder of success.

“None of us was meant to be wealthy” as they illuminate Sally’s rise to success relating a story of another friend, Ray, who died of AIDS and how Sally used his blood, bandages and catheter as art pieces.

This macabre telling brings forth the real jealousies, guilt and cruel human behavior as, on the surface they repeat all the niceties of true friendship, but while alone with each other, the complexity of their real feelings surface. While visiting Sally in the hospital continually, one of them decides to take pictures as they all join in to record this repulsive experience like an art project. “The purple of the bruise . . . it appeals . . . tempts . . .beauty . . . we’ve spent our life hunting it out.”

The dialogue is a series of monologues that sometimes overlaps as we gain insight into their disturbing behavior with the use of five white rectangular benches on a bare stage; as each actor continues reformatting their stream of discourse and thoughts, all under the resourceful direction of Ianthe Demos.

Surely Mark Ravenhill is not for everyone, the artistry so esoteric, the stream of consciousness out of the ordinary as we gain insight into the inner thoughts of each character (who are unnamed) but consist of quality actors Estelle Bajou, Christopher Baker, Nick Flint, Christina Bennett Lind and Richard Saudek. They are all sensitively choreographed by Natalie Lomonte.

“pool (no water)” continues at 9th Space 159 1st Avenue thru May 26th.