I am out and about most evenings. I consider myself lucky that I get to see so much theatre, but because of the kids and the need for someone to be home with them, my husband does not get to see nearly as much as I do. I wangled a nice exchange with my Mother, taking her to Private Lives on Thursday night in exchange for her babysitting the boys so that Mark and I could go out together on Friday. To be fair, she probably would have babysat on Friday without the bribe, but this way I could say thank you in advance!
So in a rare night out for both of us we took in Trunk Theatre's Days of Wine and Roses at the Varscona. It was a new version of the teleplay by J.P. Miller by Irish playwright Owen McCafferty (Mojo Mickybo) - Donal (Cody Porter) and Mona (Elena Porter) are a young Irish couple new to the adventure of their lives in London. They meet on the journey from Belfast and fall in love and marry and drink and their mutual inability to handle alcohol leads to the destruction and rebuilding of their lives. I was quite impressed with the simplicity of the production. Director Amy DeFelice has constructed a production which is based foremost in building the shifting relationship of the two characters. Their descent is tracked by the increasing number of bottles caging them on the stage. Her transitions from scene to scene help support the overall arc as they move from joyful celebration and dancing to stumbling and angry striding. Cody and Elena (I usually refer to the actors by their last names, but that gets confusing here) have a true chemistry onstage. Each are present and it is not hard to imagine the attraction and the sadness at the ultimate failure of the relationship. I particularly loved Elena's shifting from a wistful hopefulness at the top of the show - her voice soft and full of expectation for her future - to the hardened acceptance and resignation of where she ends up. The characters are real and as is the dialogue and although doomed, so is the relationship. For two nights in a row I have witnessed two drunken and battling couples onstage. This one also gave the audience permission to be horrified by the violence between the lovers and allowed them to feel the shame of what they were becoming.
I was pleased that Mark also enjoyed his night out, since he doesn't get them as often. In a few years when the kids are older, I hope to be dragging him along to more of my theatrical adventures!
Photo Credit: Sarah Van Tassel