Twenty-Something Theatre

Tough! by George F. Walker

Dates and Venue 24 August - 3 September 2011, 8pm | Studio 1398 (formerly PTC Studio), 1398 Cartwright Street, Granville Island

Director Tamara McCarthy

Reviewer Karen Fitzgibbon

The Twenty-Something Theatre production that I attended on Friday August 26th was cozy, seats were comfortable and we felt close and personal to the actors. Unfortunately the play was a disappointment.

George F. Walker’s play Touch takes place in a playground on Vancouver’s East side. The staging was well chosen with swings, climbing area, sand and a cement grey wall with graffiti. There are three cast members: Tina (Marlene Ginader), Bobby (Timothy Johnston) and Katherine Gauthier as Jill. Tina informed Brad that she was pregnant and her friend Jill was not just a friend but played interference as an aggressive body guard. Since Tina is only 19 the situation is not good. Both Jill and Tina show constant aggression towards Brad who appears cowardly, irresponsible and weak. Jill displays an overt meanness towards Brad both verbally, mentally and physically. Jill is one character that you wouldn’t want to confront in a back alley.

To the actors: Ginader, Johnston and Gauthier; you knew your lines and did the best you could with a very poor and laborious script. Anyone in the audience who was having problems in life already would have been totally depressed after seeing this performance. The constant yelling at the top of one’s lungs in anger, the use of physical abusive and constantly using the “F word” was not entertainment. Yes, I realize that this was a presentation of realism and the gritty aspects of life but it was taken to extreme. There is much that can be improved upon in the script, the dialogue and to making this a better performance. The script was absolutely dull, extremely repetitive, and often offensive. The story line really doesn’t have a whole lot of uniqueness to it. The play seemed to be caught in a repetitious crack in the record. Originality in the dialogue was lacking. The good thing was that the sound, staging and lighting were well done and the actors played their characters as well as could be expected with this script.

If you want to see a play with lots of physical aggression, meanness and foul language then maybe this play is for you. The words hysterically funny were used in the program to describe this play. This play can not be considered as having any aspect of comedy. Because a couple of lines would be considered funny does not account for the word “hysterical “ used in the description in the program. If you are looking for any hint of a comedy here then I would have to say NOT.

© 2011 Karen Fitzgibbon