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The successfulness of writing and producing a play is depended on factors such as actor’s performance, the set, or the costumes. This paper provides such analysis of the ancient play called Next Fall. Next Fall, a popular present day play written by Geoffrey Nauffts, is a story of a gay couple. The couple mates are Luke and Adam who are gay but share significant difference in religious belief systems. Luke is a firm believer in religion and the existence of God, while Adam is a committed atheist. Both struggle to commit to the success of their relationship for five years, and eventually the relationship ends. When “it’s over”, Adam, the atheist, turns to Luke’s family for answers and support. The unfolding of the play brings about a reflection of the true human condition. The play, having been first staged in 2009, has been in the theatres ever since and has gained popularity over the time.
As stated above, the play gives the direct reflection of daily human life. These reflections are portrayed through the themes developed in the course of the play. The main themes herein are love and faith. The couple meets at a dinner party where Luke is working as a waiter. They get attracted to each other, and on the same night they have a one night stand. From this day on, the duo seems to have established a relationship that by all means seems permanent. They are there for each other at all times, and love is all that they have between them. With the help of this tender feeling they are able to put up with the differences between them, such as age and looks. The gay relationship in this context is a symbol of modern love and sex affairs, and it is figuratively used to represent modern day affairs. In this way, the play directly reflects the human condition.
Besides love, the play also revolves around faith in relationship. While Luke is a strong and firm believer in Christ, Adam, on the other hand, is a real atheist. Despite their difference in looks, age and faith, the couple is able to stick together for five long years. The break up is to be blamed on the couple’s faith differences. Throughout the relationship, the couple is seen to argue about their faiths. Luke is very concerned with Adam’s atheism. He argues that Adam is headed for hell on the Judgment Day. Luke’s argument is that Adam shall go to hell not because he is gay (which is a punishable sin in Christianity), but simply because he does not believe in God. This controversy, though simple in appearance, is complicated in a way that each party in this couple holds strong to his belief. In this way, the writer of the play relates the differences that exist in modern day intimate relationships that though simple, could lead to an end of the relationship.
The actor who played Luke performed exceptionally well and helped the audience to understand the play better. He was expressive in face and tone variation and thus stimulated the audience to reach catharsis while watching the play. In the scene where he argues with Adam over his faith and religious belief, Luke responds in varied tones expressing the disgusting feeling he has for being misunderstood as a hypocrite religious believer. Luke sarcastically and angrily asks Adam to change the topic of discussion when he feels that he can’t take the argument anymore. In this way, Luke helps the audience understand that he won’t just let his faith be influenced by anyone easily. In his dress, he looks simple and therefore audience is able to identify him as a guy in love.
Overall, the production of the play is successful. Theatre scholars say that a successful tragic play is that which provides a direct relation to the audience and captures its emotion. Geoffrey Nauffts uses his skills to produce the award winning play – Next Fall. Through this production, the writer is able to relate with audience through the themes of love and faith. Moreover, Nauffts is keen enough to keep the play both comic and tragic. In the hospital scene, there is a cathartic moment when Luke is surrounded by his family members, as well as Adam, who are all sad and sobbing. Through the flashes of memories, memories of joy and play between the couple, the playwright brings in an aspect of comedy. In these two ways Geoffrey Nauffts, the writer and producer of this play, has been successful in his work.