POST: 'Ross and Rachel' - one fucked up relationship
What's it about?
In this duologue, Molly Vevers tells the story of a couple who stick together till the very end.
What'd I experience?
I started my day on an emotional roller coaster as I attended my last day of classes. I wasn’t ready to part with the other students or the professors - so the whole concept of saying goodbye had me in tears. It was a bittersweet goodbye.
The emotional roller coaster didn’t stop there. This was followed by a show whose advertisements open with the phrase, “Which one will leave. Which one will run. Which one is cheating on the other. Which one will die first. Him. Him. Her. Him.” Just from that ad, I knew I was in for it.
As I walked into the theater, I began to question if it was really a show about love. When I think of love, a dark room with a shallow pool and candles isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. The first thought that came to mind as I walked into the room was, Is there going to be some sort of ritual? A sacrifice maybe? And what does that have to do with love?
Molly Vever’s enters the stage, walking around the pool, and I quickly learn what the synopsis meant by duologue. She would be playing both characters, and that took me for a spin. As she began to speak, I felt like I was listening to the ramblings of a crazy person. She was talking to herself, telling these random stories, and it felt like she had split personalities. She’d go from easily excitable to angry in a split second. I was confused as to whether she was a crazy person or just the narrator of the story.
The confusion didn’t stop there. I had difficulty distinguishing between the male and female character she played. The second I thought I had figured out the distinction between the two characters was the second I was thrown back into being confused. When speaking about someone having cancer, she would interchange between pronouns, so up until now, I’m not 100% sure I know who actually had cancer. I’m going to say, with uncertainty, that it’s Ross…..I think.
Later on, there was this scene... she was speaking to the audience, and I can’t remember what was said prior, but she continually said the word “coffee” to each audience member. Just imagine hearing the word "coffee" like 50 times - the word started to blur into a sound, and I was just WAITING it to end. Luckily, it wasn’t that long.
There was this powerful scene that still gives me chills. The audience gets Ross’ perspective on his cancer. He starts off in denial and slowly shifts into anger over his condition. He says that he has a PhD, and that “[he’ll] be a huge loss to [his] field.” There was something about that line that had me paralyzed. I felt the pain and sadness as the words left her mouth and the weight of each word as it was said. It had finally become real for him. It felt like the whole play slowed down in that one moment, and as I write about this scene, I still feel my heart sink at the memory of what was said.
I couldn’t help but understand Rachel’s perspective on her husband having cancer. She was okay being left alone and excited to see who she could really be. She started rambling about how successful she would be, how much she would love her job, and how her child would be the best she can be. I understood how she felt having a possessive husband and being in a loveless marriage. With the cancer being sudden too, I understood her desire for freedom as well as her lack of desire for him to be dead. It’s a slippery slope, and I’m not sure I wouldn’t have followed the same train of thought.
Now, the ending. Ross proposes that they both should take their lives, so they can be together forever. In the show, however, it shows you both outlooks, where she says yes and no, starting with yes. The two get in the bath together, and she slits her wrists first. Then, when it’s Ross’ turn, he hesitates. The story flips to a repetition of the proposal, only to have Rachael saying no. After that scene, I was gone. I can honestly say that I’m still not sure what this whole thing was about, but from the little I gathered, this is one fucked up relationship.