Can You Relate? by Spencer Malthouse @spencemalthouse
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a reunion of old friends in possession of a fair amount of alcohol must be in search of shit (drama). Daniel MacIvor’s Bingo presented at Factory Theatre is no exception. This is a funny play. I do question its relevance to a Toronto audience but it has genuinely strong performances and some neat things to say.
Five friends from Cape Breton go back to Cape Breton for their thirty year (horrifying) high-school reunion. Actually, three of them never left and one just leaves in Halifax. Only one actually got out and ended up in Calgary (horrifying). They get drunk, marriages break down, romances kindle, and no babies (constructed or otherwise) actually die. Although the pain caused to one of the characters from not having kids does, I think, fill the role of this trope.
Each character presents a monologue about 'life'. While nothing said is that original it is pertinent and I think we can identify with some of the themes explored by the play. MacIvor captures the feelings of being stranded in a small town all your life and explores the novelty of the feeling of 'coming home'. Personally, I feel only sympathy for my old high school 'friends' still stuck in Ladysmith, BC (pop. 7,428) and the novelty of coming home is one of barely restrained nausea but I digress.