Firehall Arts Centre

People Like Us by Sandi Johnson

Dates and Venue 2-16 November 2013 8pm | Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova St.

Director Sarah Rodgers

Reviewer Karen Fitzgibbon

The stage setting is a living room split into two worlds. The bottom part is the front room of a house in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, while the ceiling and top of the walls is that of a camouflaged military tent in Iraq. This staging is quite well done.

Tonight’s performance centres on Kate Rourke wife of Gulf War veteran Gerry Rourke. Sarah Louise-Turner plays Kate who performs a monologue while packing for her daughter’s wedding. It involves a chain of events leading up to the return of her husband and the horrible condition of his health. He was one of many who experienced the horror of war that destroyed his mind and body.

Kate Rourke has lost her husband and talks of marching off to Ottawa to plead for changes. She wants to present her case to parliament with the hopes of getting greater help for these men who have risked their lives for our country. Families are torn apart and veterans are put on a shelf.

I did not find this play stimulating. It lost its sails after 15 minutes. It tends to be dry and although the write-up I read mentioned that there would be some humour, this is anything but humorous material. It is political, matter of fact and informative about how US and Canada can tell untruths to their soldiers when it comes to which weapons were used and which chemicals were actually absorbed into their bodies.

Sarah Louise-Turner is a good actress but should be given a more exciting role and storyline to sink her teeth into.

© 2013 Karen Fitzgibbon