Saturday, April 26, 2014

Review: (Ottawa / Theatre) My Brilliant Divorce

A Window Opens
by Jim Murchison 

John P Kelly has ventured into co-production with a long time friend from Ireland Pat Moylan. Ms Moylan was on hand from Dublin for the opening and after a few words to the audience about their longstanding friendship and collaboration the play began.

The strength of one person performances is strongest when the performer carries the action and certainly Kate Hurman as Angela has the depth to pull it off. A great deal of her performance is steeped in sardonic humour but she is perhaps even more compelling in a moment of sadness when her tearing eyes are caught glistening in the light and her voice softly carries her love for her mother out to the audience.

John P. Kelly has always been very adept at directing ensemble plays, allowing the action between characters to flow naturally and create relationships. He applies that same honesty to his approach here, even though the ensemble of characters rests within a single performer. 

David Magladry's lighting combines with Fiona Currie's projection design to create  backdrops of fireworks, gently falling snow and glorious full moons that support the mood of the moment and never detract from it.

Geraldine Aron's play successfully captures the spirit of the tug of war between relishing the adventure of the new open window of freedom and longing for the security and warmth of love lost. My one minor complaint about the play itself is that it relies a tad too much on recorded voices of other characters at times.

Whether you have ever been divorced yourself shouldn't matter as everyone has experienced a relationship that has been lost or shattered and the play examines the sadness and joy, the anger and acceptance with humour, whimsy and intelligence. 

April 25 - May 17

Running Time:  approximately 2 hours with one intermission

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