Daniel McIvorRuby Slippers Theatre

A Beautiful View Written & Directed by Daniel McIvor

Dates and Venue 4-13 Dec @ 8 pm, 6 &13 Dec @ 2 pm Performance Works, Vancouver; 16-19 Dec @ 8 pm Shadbolt Centre, Burnaby

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Although lesbianism is involved in the love intricacies of the play, the theme is handled quite delicately. Colleen Wheeler (Linda) and Diane Brown (Mitch) were a delight to watch. Their acting was simply wonderful. Funny lines like this one from Mitch's mouth, “I couldn’t go getting bisexual on myself... I’m just not that organized”, is perhaps one of the reasons McIvor is an award-winning playwright.

The audience in the prformance of December 19 seemed to be happy with this light, serio-comic play about two women, both camping aficionados, who meet while shopping for tents.The play chronicles a friendship between them over 20 years.

I was surprised to see a child in the audience, though, because the play uses coarse language. I suppose this play could be classified as PG, as I noticed the little girl was accompanied with perhaps a parent.

In the playwright's programme notes, he comments that each time the play opens (as he's directed the play with four cast members on tour), he sees the actors "fearlessly offering themselves in the roles". But that is precisely what distinguishes the good actors from the bad ones. It goes back to the basics of Method Acting, and from what I saw, these two actors are indeed in tune with what comprises good acting. In one scene, I could see honest tears about to fall as Brown becomes emotional when she catches her friend in bed with another woman.

Throughout the play, we are bombarded with what sounds like a mantra, the repetition of the phrase "Nothing is enough". It's as though you're either an optimist and lookng at life half-full, and interpreting it as "nothing is sufficient", thus giving you reason to hope; or, on the other side of the spectrum, as a pessimist, a half-empty glass where the phrase would mean "nothing can be done", a hopeless statement.

Thus, the play offers the audience the choice of how to look at life, and how to live it. In its apparent lighthearted spirit, there is a deeply embedded and profound message that McIvor wants to instill in us in this play.

.© 2009 Ed Farolan