Caroline Gillis, Clare Coulter, Jessica Moss (photo credit: Cylla von Tiedemann)
Poetry, laughter and less
MacIvor's new play doesn't impress
by Beat Rice
It is always interesting to see how a playwright stages one’s own work. Daniel MacIvor directs his own play, Was Spring, at the Tarragon.
The set, designed and lit by Kimberly Purtell, is a simple small open space with three chairs onstage. The most interesting visual is the tall reflective black wall that is also slightly transparent. It is an apt representation of what the women are going through. The three women attempt to come to terms with a life-changing event of their past. It’s an emotionally complex play that deals with how one views life, and how we approach death. The text is extremely poetic and there are some funny moments.
The actors are perfectly cast. Clare Coulter plays the aging Kitty, dry, sarcastic, and reflective. Caroline Gillis plays Kath, who is middle-aged, bitter and unsatisfied. Jessica Moss makes her Tarragon debut as the wide-eyed, full of hope Kit, the youngest female of the group. All three women are clearly in very difference places in life, which results in disagreement over how one should view the life they have lived.
The biggest problem I had with the play...it was just dull. In an article interviewing the playwright, MacIvor says he is ‘trying not to block it’ because it is a ‘psychological reality'. Well he succeeded in trying not to block it too much. There was hardly any movement and if there was it was from chair to chair, sitting to standing. I understand why he made that choice of simple staging, but it made for a very text-heavy show that was hard to focus on.