LIFE AFTER GOD
By Michael Lewis MacLennan adapted from the works of Douglas Coupland
Director Katrina Dunn
Dates 1-25 Nov 2006 Venues Theatre at UBC & VECC
Reviewer Jane Penistan
This world premiere opened to an enthusiastic full house. The script is an adaptation of Coupland’s short story, Life After God, and his photographic book, City of Glass. Michael Lewis MacLennan is the well-known Canadian playwright. The development of the script was a collaboration between Theatre at UBC and Touchstone Theatre. There was input from students and actors.
The play is a
series of short scenes and monologues, beautifully presented and linked
by the use of projections, intricate lighting, imaginative music and
is the story of six high school friends after their graduation. A 15
year reunion is planned and their lives, hopes and fears, achievements
and disillusionments are revealed in the almost two hour run of the
production. The cast comprises professional actors, some of whom are
UBC graduates, and members of the current senior acting class.
But life in the
fast lane of the late 20th century was not easy for a generation raised
without the stability of a certainty of belief. Scout, around whom the
play revolves, meets his erstwhile high school mates at various stages
of their lives and persuades them all to attend the reunion. It is at
these meetings that the stories of their disparate lives emerge.
Todd (Michael Scholar,
Jr.), who went tree planting with Scout the year they left high school,
is still a seasonal tree planter, with his own individual attitude to
living and life. He is the most content of the men in the cast. Kristy
(Olivia Rameau) works in a Vancouver office where Scout is also employed.
She is a career girl, who yearns for marriage, but finds the power of
being an executive something she cannot at present relinquish.
Katrina Dunn has directed this unusual and deeply introspective play with an unerring hand. The author’s mordant humour in the dialogue is well contrasted with the dream sequences, and the poetic language of much of the script is delivered sensitively. The transitions from scene to scene are made seamless with the incredibly sophisticated lighting and Robert Gardiner’s awe-inspiring backdrop projections -- one of the rightest stars of this introspective and very thought-provoking presentation.
The production will move to the Vancouver East Cultural Centre after the run at the Telus.
© 2006 Jane Penistan