Vagabond Players: MARION BRIDGE by Daniel MacIvor

Dates and Venue 2-25 April 2009 @ 8 pm, Sundays @ 2 pm| Bernie Legge Theatre (Queens Park, New Westminster)

Reviewer Ed Farolan

The three MacKeigan sisters, Agnes (Michelle Berg), Theresa (Mandana Namazi) and Louise (Corrine Out) come home to Cape Breton to be with their dying mother. Each has her own personality as they deal with the loneliness of their lives.

Agnes is a single mom from Toronto. She is obnoxious and annoying in her speech. Berg delivered her personality quite well as she interacted with her sisters. Namazi is pictured as a very devout Catholic, and looks/acts like a nun - patient and understanding, in her dialogues with the short-tempered Agnes. She delivered her lines well and clearly, although I felt that she tended to be a bit melodramatic. Out portayed her part quite well, as she had already portrayed this role with another company in the past. Although she refers to herself as "strange", she appeared normal to me.

Paul Tourneur who directs the show needs to trim the script a bit, not because the script was too long, but some of the songs and lines were too long. For example, I thought that it wasn't necessary to sing the song at the end of the play in its entirety. I was asking myself: Is this an operetta or a musical? The other song, "Be not afraid",during the funeral of the mother was also too long. I was asking myself: Are we hearing Mass? Some of the monologues I also found too long and need to be trimmed. I'm not sure whether this script was a Canadian version of Shelagh Stepehsnon's "Memory of Water", but it seemed like the same kind of theme, and I found MacIvor's script more inferior to Stephenson's.

I wasn't impressed by the set but understandably, we're dealing with community theatre whose funds are limited and we shouldn't expect anything lavish. Pity that there were only a dozen or more people in last Sunday's matinee, but that's to be expected because it was Easter Sunday and the weather was terrible.


© 2009 Ed Farolan