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'Since your daughter's death I've not been much of a hypnotist.'
A man loses his daughter to a car accident. Nothing now is what it seems. It's like he's in a play - but he doesn't know the words or the moves.
The man who was driving the car is a stage hypnotist. Since the accident he's lost the power of suggestion. His act's a disaster. For him, everything now is exactly what it is. For the first time since the accident, these two men meet. They meet when the Father volunteers for the Hypnotist's act. And, this time, he really doesn't know the words or the moves...
An Oak Tree is a remarkable play for two actors. The Father, however, is played by a different actor - male or female - at each performance. They walk on stage having neither seen nor read a word of the play they're in...until they're in it. This is a breath-taking projection of a performance, given from one actor to another, from a hypnotist to their subject, from an audience to a person. An Oak Tree is a bold and absurdly comic play about loss, suggestion and the power of the mind.
An Oak Tree premiered at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in August 2005.
"Crouch's brilliant, wayward show...has an incredible emotional pungency" - The Guardian
"(the play) raises questions about the mind’s ability to impose meaning on the physical world. It is philosophy in motion, if you like. You could write a thesis about it, and people probably will. But what is most amazing is that this piece, by drawing attention to its own artifice, vividly celebrates the live, raw, communal experience of theatre and the mutual give and take between actors and audience" Financial Times
"This is a pretentious, self-admiring, pseudo-intellectual model. Some people will do anything to avoid writing a real play, possibly because they’re not sure they can." Sunday Times
"…I would call this Pirandello for a modern audience and better. It’s philosophy in action, playful and seriously thought-provoking." Independent on Sunday
"Absolutely fucking fantastic!!!" — The Observer
"THERE is nothing new under the sun, apparently, but sometimes you get a flash of just that. An Oak Tree is one of those flashes. It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before and is impossible to describe without spoiling everything in it that will have you riveted to your seat, palms sweating. Stage Noise, Melbourne