Pi Theatre in association with the Firehall Arts Centre 

Elisa's Skin
By Carole Frechette
Translated by John Murrell

Del Surjik Set Design David Roberts Costumes Barbara Clayden Sound and Composer Patrick Pennefather Lighting Del Surjik Stage Manager David Kerr

Venue: The Firehall Arts Dates: 6-16 October 2004

Reviewer: Jane Penistan




Mask of Comedy/TragedyCome and join Elisa under the trees at a café table and share her fantastic life stories. Over a glass of wine you will learn of her love affairs with her unlikely and improbable boyfriends, and the secret of Elisa's skin.

This is intimate theatre at its most intimate, at the Firehall. Del Surjik directs this fascinating two-cast play in John Murrell's translation. David Robert's boulevard trees are gently lit by Del Surjik, and arc round a small café table. The front row of the wine imbibing audience is also seated at small tables, almost part of the set.

Patrick Pennefather's music opens the show with a small overture for the audience to absorb the ambience and await the entrance of Elisa, Marie Stillin as Elisa is enchanting. Under her spell we learn about her urban friends and her boyfriends. With facial expression, those exquisite hands, her voice and her well timed delivery we meet all her acquaintances. Her stormy affair with one erstwhile lover ends with his throwing her clothes, underwear and all, out of the window of their top floor flat. If that weren't enough, he has a surprise for her. Lying in bed, above them is the sky. He has taken off the roof to give her the stars Her comment, " Who could not love a man who gives you the whole of heaven."

Todd Thomson is the young man who joins Elisa at her lonely table. To him she shows various parts of her skin, asking his opinion about it, but he vanishes while she is looking the other way. The third time he reappears, after Elisa has explained and complained to no one in particular about her problem, he lovingly explains a cure. It works.

2004 Jane Penistan