A poem that begins with a suicide brightens momentarily with young love before ending in more tragedy. That is British Poet Laureate Lord Alfred Tennyson’s Maud, first published in 1855. Actor Reed Michael Campbell and director Parker Huseby revitalized the text for Maud//The Madness at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Campbell keeps you spellbound for 70 minutes as he makes his way through this epic poem. At first he’s a young man bedeviled by the suicide of his father. Then he is 25 and in love with a childhood friend, Maud, now 17 and of courting age. But Maud’s brother has another suitor in mind for her and the courtship does not end well for all involved. The poem ends with the young man fleeing to Europe and eventually enlisting to fight in the Crimean War.
Maud//The Madness is an interesting little show, very atypical of the usual Fringe solo shows and worth checking out.