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‘Crocodile Fever’ is dark comedy, and Director Frank Blocker couldn’t be more thrilled


The national premiere of Crocodile Fever opens at the Laboratory Theatre of Florida on April 12.  Meghan Tyler’s dark, bloody comedy revolves around two sisters facing off against their tyrannical father.

Alannah’s quiet life in 1989 Northern Ireland is disrupted when her rebellious IRA sister Fiannah comes home. The combative sisters are forced to confront their tyrannical father’s hideous legacy, and all hell breaks loose and the outcome is anything but happy.

“I love a dark comedy, and this one is definitely dark,” says Director Frank Blocker. “Funny. But dark.”

When language and character can sing from the page as if it were a score, you know you have a good play in your hands, Blocker adds.

“When I was asked to direct this darkly gorgeous and gory comedy, I was disturbed as to how much I loved it. Sibling bonds that run very deep, the beautiful language they have with each other, religious and political oppression, and two strong female leads who champion their own destinies—these are just some of the reasons for that love. Chainsaws, amputations, drunken dancing, cannibalism, and the crocodile were just icing on the cake. It may sound insane when listed as such, yet they are what makes the show so palatable as, at its core, it’s about two people who have been through unimaginable horrors throughout their entire lives, and we know that they are but a representation of so many in Northern Ireland.”

And yet it’s a comedy?

“I have studied comedy for decades and can attest to the adage: ’Good comedy comes from timing. Great comedy comes from pain.’  Only time can tell, but this has the potential of being ‘great.’”

Blocker is doubly happy to be directing a U.S. premiere.

“Perhaps part of my former New York mindset, but I would rather chart new territory when it comes to helming a production,” Blocker comments. “It felt personal, too. As a lapsed Catholic (with nine siblings to prove it) turned rebel, then corporate Yahoo—now back in a non-denominational church as an ordained assistant pastor while making a living in theatre—well, how could I resist?”

As a pastor, Blocker understands that some may be offended by the strong language or bothered by the gore.

“But as an artist in the theatre, I believe the true language of a character is paramount—and in both lines of work, truth really does set you free. I want a theatrical production to, at the very least, be worthy of someone getting off their sofa and coming to see live theatre. This is definitely something worth the trip.”

“Did I mention it was dark?”

And a comedy.

Go here for play dates, times and a cast list.

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