Set in a rundown bar in the Bronx, we meet Roberta, a divorced mother, anxious, upset, clearly tortured by something when in walks Danny bloodied and bruised, fresh from his latest fight. A banter is stuck up between them, vicious insults are tossed around but incredibly, these two lost souls desperate for connection end up confessing secrets to one another, things they have never shared with anyone else before. Roberta announces she’s gonna take him home so they can love each other. Danny protests, “They call me the Beat”. Not to be deterred Roberta replies, “Come on. Let’s get outta here. Let’s go home”.
Their night together is like a dream, where two misfits find a slice of serenity in their otherwise rocky worlds.
But what will happen in the morning?
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea is a hard hitting play by John Patrick Shanley that has stood the test of time and is still relevant today.
Director Jay Brazeau is to be lauded for his countless hours of service to this production as well as his co-director Sarah Rose. Artists collectives do this work mostly for their love of the craft not the paycheque - so thank you both for your time and dedication to this project. It’s a beautiful baby!
There were so many elements of this production that truly shone - a collective in the purest sense. I loved that the moment I stepped inside the theatre I was transported immediately to the Bronx by Warren Abbot’s set design - Stellar! And that set change - well done. Kudos to choreographers Shelley Stewart-Hunt and Robbie Hebert for their contribution. That’s all I’m saying about that one, you have to see it for yourself.
Itai Erdal’s lighting design throughout the show was exquisite. From the ‘moon', to the candle in the night and the tale of the deep blue sea - the design supported each moment magically. Of special mention is Erdal’s black and white photo gallery on the walls as you walk in. What a special treat that was.
Stefania Indelicato is flawless as Roberta. The precision with which she utilizes her instrument is breathtaking. I was moved to tears several times by her work throughout the night.
Johnny Ghorbani, Executive Producer and Danny co-star has tackled this mammoth play with the fierce tenacity needed to accomplish such an amazing feet. So few people can truly appreciate the complexity of tackling both roles simultaneously, so kudos to Ghorbani for picking such a hard hitting play and character to dig his producing chops into. As Danny, I enjoyed the vulnerability Ghorbani showed us with his interpretation of this piece. That said I would have liked to see more of the “Beast" in this role.
At its heart this is a story of love of forgiveness and it is beautifully told by this amazing team. I look forward to seeing what they do next.
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea by the Athletes of Soul Collective is playing at Studio 16 from 27 September to 7 October 2018. Tickets at:
~ reviewed by Lori Watt
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