City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Accident Review

By Irene Brown - Posted on 09 August 2010

Show details
The Brentwood Theater Company, Los Angeles
Running time: 
Judith F. Lyons (director), Tony Johnson (producer), Susan Deeley Wells(technical director)
Jane Bender( Mrs Thomson/Annie), Otis Blum (Mr Anderson/Steve/Sam Croweagle), , Nicholas Bowman(DA Simon, ‘Pig’ Benton, Matt, tattoo artist), Cinnamon Frost (Mrs Benton/Susie), Johnny Lazebnik (Dr Parker/Joe), Christian Proctor (Policeman/Drew/Dennis Caddy), Amanda Weise(Shelby Scott/Jesse Stanton/Maggie), Sade Benyamonov (Karen Stanton/Cassie), Alec Bowman (James Anderson), Katherine Cooke (Mrs Anderson/Sarah/reporter), Josh Jacobs (Judge/John Thomson/Jeff), Sheridan Pierce (Geo Mendez and Tony Mendez Jnr.), Brett Rosen (Tony Mendez Snr/Brad)

First written in 1997 by thirteen Brentwood students and their teacher, the play was brought to the Fringe that year by that original cast and authors. It is based on a true story about a car crash involving the death of four Californian teenagers, the events of which took place in 1995.

The story was written in the Los Angeles Times Magazine by J.R. Moehringer. The play is based on this, subsequent news events and the court testimony. The current cast is the third Brentwood Theater Company to perform this powerful play.

‘ “It was an ordinary summer night, you know? Eight of us piled into my dad’s suburban and headed to the California desert to chill, drink some brew, smoke a little dope. No big deal.”
Twenty-four hours later, four are dead and a whole community comes apart. ‘

Over the ten scenes, punctuated by a range of rock music from the period, the audience is exposed to the events leading to the crash and their tragic consequences and, like a jury, is left to decide where the guilt lies. The complexity of human emotions experienced is evident in the text throughout.

This is an ambitious undertaking for students that elicited heartfelt performances from the cast of promising young actors, notably, Josh Jacobs (as Judge), Alec Bowman (James Anderson), Cinnamon Frost (as Mrs Benton) and Katherine Cooke (as Mrs Anderson) who stayed in character throughout the performance.

However, the play felt unwieldy and with an air of final rehearsal or reading rather than a finished piece and just a bit too didactic at the end when an array of opinions were accounted. Too much telling – showing is enough. Sadly, only experience really teaches.

There is a real sense of mission from this group. The text expresses the fear of a ‘lost moral compass’. The play has become a moral message to friends and new generations in Brentwood and beyond.

8 – 14 August, 8.45pm

Ticket prices
£9 / £7 concessions