by Lynn on May 29, 2024

in The Passionate Playgoer

Live and in person at the Lighthouse Theatre, Port Dover, Ont. Playing until June 8, 2024.

Written by Norm Foster

Directed by Jane Spence

Set by William Chesney

Costumes by Alex Amini

Lighting by Kevin Fraser

Cast: Ian Deakin

Melanie Janzen

Brigitte Robinson

Norm Foster is an equal opportunity writer, with a huge heart. He first wrote a play called: Jonas and Barry in the Home about two vastly different men who meet in a senior’s home and become friends. He says he had such fun writing it he wrote another play, Doris and Ivy in the Home,  this time focusing on two women. The plays are not carbon copies of the other.

“Doris and Ivy in the Home is about two women who are from different parts of the world. Doris is a boisterous retired prison guard from Alberta. Ivy is a disgraced Olympic skier from Austria. These two women are as different as the day is long, but as always happens, life throws us a curve and we befriend people we never expected to get close to. And so it happens with Doris and Ivy. “

Both women were married at one point. Doris stayed married to her husband but it seemed a loveless marriage until he died. Ivy married often and not successfully. Ivy is being pursued in the home by Arthur but she is not ready to accept his ardent advances, but they are friendly.

As with all his plays, Norm Foster sees the humour and humanity in the ordinary, easy-going situations in life. Doris, as played by Melanie Janzen is lively, flamboyant—perhaps a bit too much so—and offers her own charm. As Ivy, Brigitte Robinson is elegant, sophisticated and gracious, except when having to correct Doris when she keeps thinking Ivy is from Germany and not Austria. Both women form a bond that plays off the other. They find a common ground and appreciation of the other.

As Arthur, Ian Deakin plays him as a robust man, an intellectual and curious about the world. He is smitten by Ivy and gently but steadily pursues her. It’s touching not predatory. The whole production is directed with sensitive care by Jane Spence.

William Chesney has created a lovely set that is serene, calm and depicts a well-cared for patio. Alex Amini’s costumes are casual for Doris and Arthur and a touch elegant for Ivy.   

Doris and Ivy in the Home is a sweet play about two characters you would never imagine would be friends, and when they do, it’s as natural as anything.

Lighthouse Festival presents:

Plays at Port Dover until June 8.

Plays at Port Colborne from June 12-June 23, 2024.

Running time: two hours (1 Intermission)

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