Fall of Love: An Anthology worth experiencing
- Written by Ryan Cole
Fall of Love: An Anthology
By Alex Gerstenberg
Out of Sight Productions
Directed by Steve Stockwell
Played by Anton Mijatovic, Nicky Deveber, Kelly MacDonald, Julia Ferguson, Holly Reid, Jonathon Calhoun, Nichole Robertson
Shelley Levi|, Rosemary Bonner, Tim Ingram, Annette Dennis
The ARTS Project, 203 Dundas Street
Until Sat.,Oct 20 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Fall of Love: An Anthology is an interesting set of five scenes, telling five very different tales. The stories, each with a unique cast of actors, are united only by the theme of lost love.
This was my first experience with Out of Sight Productions and it should be noted that I reviewed this show at what appeared to be their final dress rehearsal. [Hence, no star count on this review – Editor].
The production’s program notes that the goal of the show is to provide opportunities for both sighted and non-sighted actors to gain experience in roles outside their comfort zone. I think this is a worth-while undertaking and has resulted in a production with some truly genuine performances.
The play contained a wide spectrum of talents and while some actors struggled at times with their characters, others flourished. It has a little bit of something for everyone, and if one scene doesn’t tickle your fancy surely the next one will.
Of the five scenes, the third entitled “The Game” was by far my favourite. In the scene, ‘Life’ played by Julia Ferguson and ‘Death’ played by Kelly MacDonald, wait on the ledge of a cliff overlooking the sea for two young lovers who are determined to jump to their deaths. The lovers: ‘Youth’ played by Jonathon Calhoun and ‘The Girl’ played by Holly Reid are adequately portrayed but are largely outplayed in this scene by ‘Life’ and ‘Death’ –whose chemistry and complete embodiment of these supernatural characters is quite a feat. Kelly MacDonald in particular was both hilarious and terrifying in a Tim Burton-esque portrayal. He lights up the stage with his wit and seems to fade in and out of the shadows like a specter. ‘Life’ masterfully balanced both sympathy and cruelty though she was difficult to hear at times. They both cleverly use the space, dressed with nothing but a small table, so that at times I forgot myself and could see the cliff itself and the harsh sea below.
Steve Stockwell does a decent job directing this piece. The movements are fairly natural and there seems to be a stylistic thread that ties these very different scenes together. The action, however, seems to take place very far upstage and for a play about something as personal as love I felt it should have been more intimate.
The prologue, a short monologue by Darren Kovac, is a cute way to start the show and the other scenes follow it with a good mix of tragedy and comedy. The women of the fourth scene, Nichole Robertson, Shelley Levi, and Rosemary Bonner play well off each other and provided some comic relief. I learned a great deal about the way a woman’s mind works during this vignette.
The fifth and final scene left me wanting more and was at times difficult to follow – the fault, I think, of a lack of clarity on the part of both the actors and director – though this scene too had great potential in the genuine emotions bubbling just below the surface.
The soundscape (designed by Steve Stockwell) is one of the best aspects of this production, brilliantly adding continuity to the piece while simultaneously acting as a palate cleanser to ready the audience for a new story. The show is painfully slow at times but overall is an experience worth having.
For more information on Out of Sight Productions, visit oosproductions.com
Ryan Cole is a local actor, director and founding member of Richmond and Tower Productions.
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