‘I was born in a shoebox. I’ll die in a shoebox.” That’s B (James Barton) speaking, one of five (or perhaps six) characters in Sleeping Weazel artistic director Charlotte Meehan’s “Real Realism.” And the shoebox for this world-premiere production directed by Vanessa Gilbert is, appropriately, the Factory Theatre, that basement-level black box in the South End. How the characters get there is as much a mystery as how they’re going to leave — assuming they’re allowed to. The audience, after a claustrophobic, intermissionless 80 minutes, will be relieved to find the exit door works. Reality can be tough, and Meehan’s play lives up to its name.
Actually, we do see the characters enter the playing space: They come, one by one, through a door stage left. Before that, however, a video screen seems to show them, in black and white, waiting outside while a voice intones admonitions like “Don’t be proud”