Next Thing, The


"A play about a mother in a wheelchair; the son she has gutted and who kills her for it; a young-lady caller in leg braces that are "all an act"; and the strangely, aberrantly intruding husband of the household's Negro servant.  The manner is modern, in deliberately disoriented chronology, so that scenes much later come earlier, and vice versa.";"A locquacious, loudmouthed young man brings a girl home to dinner.  He berates her while his soft-spoken, crippled mother watches passively, only occasionally raising a mild protest.  A couple of scenes later we find the mother sitting upright in a wheelchair, a sheet thrown over her.  The girl tells the son that he's mad, and who does he think he is, going around killing people? The next scene finds the mother very much alive.  Still later, the girl turns up in braces, drags herself across the stage, then laughingly removes the braces and says something to the effect that she fooled him, didn't she? At some point or other a Negro actor, who seems to have turned up in the wrong play, runs on stage and briefly outshouts the actor playing the son. He's looking for his wife, a character we've only heard about-- she's a maid in the household and, according to the son, a lousy one.  The play ends with the slow-motion re-enactment, repeated several times over, of the son shooting his mother."

--Review of "The Next Thing" (1966) [OBJ.1966.0036];--Review of "The Next Thing" (1966) [OBJ.1966.0035]