Against the Flesh

Calvin has had a rough year. Recently separated from his alcoholic husband, he needs some sort of change, and his twin sister Shanna thinks she knows just the solution: a quiet weekend in the remote woods of Finland with her and her husband Aarni. Oh, and Aarni’s (single, gorgeous, gay) friend Pekka. What could possibly go wrong? For starters, Pekka speaks no English, and Cal speaks almost no Finnish - a...
Calvin has had a rough year. Recently separated from his alcoholic husband, he needs some sort of change, and his twin sister Shanna thinks she knows just the solution: a quiet weekend in the remote woods of Finland with her and her husband Aarni. Oh, and Aarni’s (single, gorgeous, gay) friend Pekka. What could possibly go wrong? For starters, Pekka speaks no English, and Cal speaks almost no Finnish - a situation which only fuels Cal's crushing anxiety and insecurity, not to mention his guilt over a mysterious past misdeed.

Just as the weekend starts to look up, Cal begins hearing strange, unnatural noises in the woods. All the while, something is watching him from the trees. Watching and waiting. When that something finally shows itself, Cal will embark on a dark night of the soul, the shape and outcome of which will determine his ability to overcome his past and build some kind of future.
  • Recommend
  • Download
  • Save to Reading List

Against the Flesh

Recommended by

  • Conor McShane:
    2 Jan. 2021
    A wonderfully unsettling play that pulls off some nifty tricks with point of view and subjectivity. The device of the audience being able to understand what Calvin cannot, along with the fluid shifts in character give us a great sense of Calvin's fragile mental state. Sometimes the scariest sounds in the woods are actually inside our own heads.
  • Nick Malakhow:
    18 Dec. 2020
    Wow! What an original and compelling play! I absolutely loved the (mis)translation theatrical device as well as the haunting reappearances of Tommy throughout. The theatrical universe Robideau has created here is unsettling, hilarious, off-kilter, and at times magical, and it is used to tell a potent story about addiction, mental health/PTSD, and toxic relationships. It manages to be genuinely funny, at times sweet, a little sexy, occasionally scary, and surprisingly touching--if that sounds chaotic, it's not. This world, on the contrary, feels very aesthetically coherent. Theatrical and begs to be seen in a live production!
  • Siobhan Bott:
    26 Nov. 2020
    In this dark comedy, what starts out as a get away trip to Finland becomes something much, much, deeper and darker. Stranded in a place where he can't speak the native language, Calvin is forced to dive into his shadow self-taking the audience with him. Impeccably written, it had me on the edge of my seat. I really hope to see this play produced one day!

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    The Flea
    ,
    2018
  • Workshop
    ,
    The Pool
    ,
    2018
  • Residency
    ,
    Erik Ehn's silent playwriting retreat
    ,
    2018

Awards

Finalist
,
International Thomas Wolfe Playwriting Competition
,
Playmakers Repertory Company
,
2020