Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review: (Vancouver) The Good Thief

Grit, Edge and the Actor
by David C. Jones
It is so exciting and awe-inspiring to see new young talent take to the stage to make their mark. They have to find the right project, the right venue and the right marketing to showcase their passion and talent.
The Love Outlaws have chosen a one-act by award winning Irish playwright Connor McPherson and opted to stage it with minimal fuss at the Havana Restaurant Theatre. A chair and beer mug our only props - so we have the actor and the words to engage us.
The tale is about a small Irish thug more of a softie but not above smacking a woman around - who is sent on a caper by his ex-girlfriend’s new boy friend to scare a family man. The problem is our hero has been set-up and through a panicked series of gunplay gets the upper hand.
On the run with the family man’s wife and kid he has to figure out how to stay alive.
A gritty and edgy tale told to us by the actor Shaun McComb and directed by Gemma Levinson, she directs with a straight forward style – a man and his words style. Mr. McComb is a handsome and heartfelt actor.
Since the story takes place in Ireland we know there is going to be bloodshed and macabre demises. Since our protagonist is telling the tale we know he survives. The challenge then is how to keep the audience engaged while waiting for the outcome.
Mr. McComb does an admirable job but more energetic drive and desperate surprise would buoy the storyline. Too many reflective choices slow the pace and allow the mind to wander. My companion said: “Theatre is supposed to grab us and make us forget about our lives.”
With a little more attack Love Outlaws is poised to do that.

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