(Posted 2 p.m.,
theatre company takes on difficult production with aplomb
By Fred Sherwin
ENCORE! Theatre production of 'Under Milk Wood' featured a number of fine
performances by the young cast which included Albert Nasrallah as Cpt. Cat
and Karine Longpré as Polly Garter. Fred Sherwin/Photo
find I am at a bit of a loss in trying to write a review of the ENCORE!
Theatre Company's latest production of the Dylan Thomas classic Under
On the one hand
the young cast did an amazing job portraying close to 60 characters and
memorizing more than 90 minutes of monologue. But on the other hand the
sheer immensity of the script and the number of characters made it difficult
Billed as "a
play for voices", it would be more appropriate to call it a play for
the ears. At the time the play was written in the late 40s, most people
derived their entertainment listening to serials on the radio. It's not
surprising then that Thomas originally wrote the play for the BBC.
Wood is a play you have to listen to intently to truly enjoy, especially
in the first act. Unfortunately, there is such a whirlwind of characters
and dialogue, I was lost after the first five minutes.
The play itself
is about a small seaside village in Wales and its inhabitants. The first
act examines the dreams of the main characters as they lay sleeping.
dreams were about I don't have the foggiest, except for Cpt. Cat played
wonderfully by Albert Nassrallah, who dreamt of his old seafaring buddies
and a lost love.
The second act
is much easier to follow than the first as it's played out in real time
with the characters living out their daily lives.
brilliant in his portrayal of several other lead characters including Organ
Morgan, Cherry Owen and Mr. Waldo. The rest of the cast which included Clair
Hogan, Karine Longpré, Teri James, Maryse Darch, Sarah Benfield, Maritie
Lord and Gordon Watts did a great job as well. I especially liked Longpré's
portrayal of the pregnant Polly Garter and Hogan was a treat as always even
down to her role as one of Cpt. Jacks' old buddies and a cow.
I wish I had read the play first before going to see it which would have
made it much easier to follow along and enjoy the characters. As it was,
I left the theatre feeling uneasy and unclear of what I had just sat through.
they get around to picking their next production, the folks at ENCORE! will
choose something a little more mainstream with a clear plot line. Something
in the realm of previous productions such as Our Town and The
Miracle Worker, two plays that still rank among my all time favourites.
to Front Page