Sarah O'Connor

Writer – Playwright – Cannot Save You From The Robot Apocalypse

I received this book from Playwrights Canada Press in exchange for an honest review.

“Behave. YOU DON’T THINK I’VE TRIED THAT? For years and years. Waited my turn and raised my hand and it doesn’t CHANGE ANYTHING – behaving – just makes me easier to ignore,” (Jeffery 77).

A group of former girl scouts begin to lose trust that they will be protected in a cataclysmic event and become “doomers” as they prepare to survive in world they are sure will collapse. One night, Maureen, Jo, Sarah, Vic, and Robbie sneak out to The Pit, a creepy hideaway in the woods that may hold proof to where a local cult may have lived and mysteriously disappeared ten years before. They find small bones, dusty cans, and try to learn how such a large group of people could simply vanish and will do anything to find answers.

WROL (Without Rule of Law) was my most-anticipated play to read and it was such a letdown. I mean, girl scouts turned doomsday preppers is a hell of an intriguing concept, but Jeffery’s play just didn’t go where I would have liked it to have gone.

The biggest issue I had was with the characters, they just didn’t sound like eighth graders to me. Now it’s been many moons since I was an eighth grader so things change, but the way these characters talked often made it sound like they were at least in high school. I enjoyed Jo’s monologues of her YouTube videos, they definitely gave me an Eighth Grade vibe that seemed realistic, and at times Sarah sounded her age mostly when she was talking about more juvenile things like the fantasy books she likes to read. Vic sounded the most like a kid and her backstory was easily the most interesting of the bunch alongside Jo.

There were also a lot of monologues in this, and usually I’m a big fan of a well-written monologue. But these ones just dragged, they lost my interest and I kept waiting to return back to The Pit and figure out what was happening their.

I think currently living through a pandemic allows the major themes of WROL to be realized by readers and audiences (and to my knowledge WROL was written and performed before Covid). When a cataclysmic even happened we were unprepared, and then the world and many of it’s people unanimously decided that they were tired of restrictions and that living maskless and refusing vaccines with no restrictions was a better option than protecting our vulnerable populations. The pandemic proved that in a crisis, there are people worth sacrificing and forgetting.

So I’ll give it to Jeffery, she’s spot-on with what she’s telling her audience.

WROL (Without Rule of Law) has it’s moments and it’s biggest strength is how it nails it’s major themes. But these kids just didn’t feel like kid’s, and I just couldn’t find myself caring enough about characters I couldn’t feel for. That being said, I recognize this will be a favourite of many reader’s and I think would make a great production for a high school crowd.

57281780Publication: June 22 2021
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Pages: 104 pages (Paperback)
Source: Owned (Thanks Playwrights Canada Press!!!)
Genre: Fiction, Play, Theatre, Canadian
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤

Convinced the world at large can’t be trusted to prioritize the well-being of adolescent girls in the event of a cataclysmic event (or just in general), a determined troupe of preteen “doomers” commit to preparing for survival in the post-collapse society they anticipate inheriting.
When Maureen, Jo, Sarah, Vic, and Robbie sneak out at night to investigate an ominous hidden lair in the woods, they believe they have stumbled onto proof of what happened to a mysterious local cult that vanished over a decade ago. As they search for vital clues, examining small bones and dusty cans of food for signs of life, they fight to understand how to be understood in a world that seems to reject them. What they discover changes everything–eighth grade will never be the same.

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