There’s a reason why small, tightly developed plays are so appealing to me. They leave the audience with nothing to do but see where the characters’ conflicts are going, with little or no fifth business to distract attention.
This can be challenging for actors, not to mention audiences who expect big set pieces.
This three-hander revolves around an errant, failed artist father and the chasm that keeps his aspiring actress daughter from building the bridge back to him. The daughter’s partner is a caterer struggling for the satisfying life her dream promised, and seems initially more connected to Pater Artisticus than her partner. These dynamics, with history and ghosts of missing characters cluttering up the claustrophobic set, and the clearly never finished business that surrounds this person, make for some deliciously tense moments.
24 centuries may lie between us and Aristophene’s award for Best Comedy at the Athenian Oscars in 411 BC, but it seems we are the same in so many ways. Ego, comfort with the way things have always been, resistance to change or losing some of that comfort to make other, more vulnerable people less so are themes just as relevant in our tumultuous times as they were in the heyday of Athenian Drama.
In keeping with one of the Bard’s favourite devices, we are not sure what is going on as we enter the theatre. Bard on the Beach’s Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre is thrust style, and as the audience streamed in to this première, we experience chaos, as if the show may go on, but not with polish and panache. Fear not, however. We are professionals!
The play within the play within the play theme risks disappearing into its own navel, but the brilliant architecture devised by Lois Anderson and co-adaptor Jennifer Wise skirts disaster cleverly throughout the two halves. Indeed, we are not sure WHAT is real and what is pretend.
Overcome stage fright and find confidence in your unique voice.
ABOUT THEATRE ADDICTS
Founded by Danielle Benzon, a self-professed theatre addict.