Kay Meek Arts Centre and Wing & Prayer Productions
Marion Bridge by Daniel MacIvor

Dates and Venue September 6 - 20, 2018, 7:30pm (No performances Mondays); matinees on Saturday, Sept. 8 & 15 and Sunday, Sept. 9& 16 at 2:30pm | Kay Meek Studio Theatre, 1700 Mathers Ave., West Vancouver

Director Roy Surette Lighting Design Michael K. Hewitt Set Design Tiko Kerr, Tracy-Lynn Chernaske Stage Managers Rick Rinder & Ingrid Tamboline

Reviewer Christian Steckler

Families are different…sometimes close, sometimes not; sometimes boringly routine, sometimes unpredictable; sometimes sane, sometimes crazy. MacIvor takes us to visit a particular family of three sisters, reunited under the difficult circumstances anticipating the death of their ailing mother. This reunion, under these circumstances, creates a complicated readjustment of their interpersonal relationships. It also forces all of them to examine their lives’ perspectives, accomplishments, and meaning. MacIvor’s natural dialogue and clear character development make this play very special and endearing. It is especially noteworthy that these rather serious themes are peppered with comedic, often hilarious moments.

Surette’s masterful direction comes as no surprise, given his impressive portfolio, and his history with the performers and some of the technical personnel involved in this production. Then too, with stellar performances from Nicola Cavendish, Lynda Boyd and Beatrice Zeilinger who played Theresa, Agnes and Louise respectively, the evening could not have been better.

Cavendish’s Theresa, a nun, is forever under control, guiding, cajoling, sometimes teasing her sisters to ensure that things go smoothly, and that no feathers are too badly ruffled. Her carefully contained demeanour hides raging doubts about the life she has chosen, doubts that eventually erupt. Cavendish’s skillful talent shines.

Similarly, Boyd’s portrayal of the tempestuous and impetuous Agnes, a foil for her two quieter sisters, is a work of art. We watch her bravado stretched and strained as she comes to terms with her past and tries to forge a new future.

Zeilinger’s Louise comes across as relatively uncomplicated, but there is more to her. Her gradual, subtle exposure is beautifully handled by Zeilinger as she weaves Louise’s simplicity into a fascinating perception of reality.

It is, indeed, refreshing to attend theatre that does not appear “acted”. This performance of Marion Bridge allows us glimpses of real people, with real words, real feelings, real doubts, and real self-realizations. This is a testament to the incredible talent of all involved in this production. It’s a must see!

© 2018 Christian Steckler