Rabbit Hole is written by David Lindsay-Abaire, and won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. So it is no surprise that it is an excellently constructed ensemble show, with very realistic dialogue and understandable human conflicts. This show is longer than most at Fringe, with a 95 minute running time, but every scene feels necessary and important. In another production, an intermission would be ideal.
Rabbit Hole is about a family dealing with the loss of a child, which is difficult territory. But it is examined with precision by the script, and the script is, in turn, deftly handled by high quality actors. Every character is believable and real, and three-dimensional. My only complaint here would be inconsistent accents between siblings.
Despite the difficult subject matter, the play is not as heavy or dark as one might expect. There are many laughs here and much is made out of WASPy concepts of what one should do, and how polite one should be, in various circumstances, regardless of how one feels.
There are no villains here. There are simply very human characters trying to live life and move forward, in difficult circumstances. The inherent messiness that results is fascinating to watch. One aspect that was particularly interesting was the ongoing negotiations and conflicts between the various family members regarding what to hold onto and what to let go of, in the face of this loss. It was in these aspects that the brilliant subtlety of the script really shone.
Production-wise, I found that the props were very good and had some nice details. The costumes were similarly appropriate, except for a pregnancy that fails to ever manifest itself in costume or behaviour.
Whether you have experienced personal loss or not, this production is beautifully moving for all.
Rabbit Hole by Frolicking Divas is playing at the VanCity Culture Lab 6 - 16 September as part of the Dramatic Work Series at the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
~ reviewed by Vanessa Marshall
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