Reviews from Summerworks: Spawn and These Violent Delights

by Lynn on August 11, 2017

in The Passionate Playgoer


At the Factory Theatre

Written by Cheyenne Scott
Directed by Gein Wong
Cast: Samantha Brown
Dillan Meighan-Chiblow
Herbie Barnes
Cathy Elliot

Cheyenne Scott has written a thoughtful play about returning to ones indigenous roots, beliefs and traditions by using salmon during spawning season as a metaphor. Against all odds salmon swim against currents to get home to spawn.

Theresa is an indigenous woman who is at odds with her disconnected family. When she becomes pregnant she wants to correct that. She and her supportive boyfriend Mikey deal with the difficulties that come their way with an impressive maturity.
Samantha Brown as Theresa and Dillan Meighan-Chiblow give impressive performances.

It’s a complex story that could use a simpler production than Gein Wong’s busy one. There are videos as a backdrop that zoom in and out for some reason while characters are talking. Distracting. Actors could all use firm direction to speak up and not drop their words. The words are the reason we’re in the room; say them clearly please.

These Violent Delights

At the Factory Theatre

Written and directed by Cole Lewis
Cast: Jessica Del Fiero
Jordan Zanni
Alexa Fraser
Johnny Wu
Nicola Rough
Montserrat Videla
Dominique Hat
Evan Medd
Emilyn Sims
Matt Winter
Shira Leuchter

Cole Lewis has written an overly ambitious script that questions why we build monuments, using the story of Romeo and Juliet as the model. When Romeo and Juliet die, the warring Capulets and Montegues declare peace between them and a monument is built to commemorate the love of the two young people. There is some confusing dialogue blaming the Nurse for all the trouble.

Cole Lewis has also directed this production and that too is over extended. A chorus enters wearing tall hats/face coverings that fit over the face that also have a face painted on each one. The language attempts to be poetic but winds up being confusing. To make matters worse someone thought it would be clever to have each speaker’s dialogue pre-empted by a reverbering echo so that when the speaker finally gave her lines it came out garbled because of the echo. A show that is already dense with effort to be esoteric just became incomprehensible. A brave effort is one thing; a lot more simplicity and clarity of what you really want to say would have been better.

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