Sunday, June 22, 2014

Review: (Ottawa) Silent Party Interlude (Fringe))

Silent Party Interlude or Counting Breaths

by David Currie

If you are in your 40s and own at least one copy of “Eat, Pray, Love” (in any format) this show will appeal to you.  If you aren’t, well, it is still kind of a nice way to spend an hour.  The well told story of a woman who becomes an ascetic for 10 days, Silent Party Interlude can be extremely compelling.  It can also be funny.  It was also pretty annoying. The problem Silent Party Interlude (besides the impossible to remember title), is that every time the play gets into a narrative track and one begins to share in the meditative experience of its performer, the very talented Devon More plays a song.

Let me be perfectly clear, this is not a musical. These songs have little to do with the action on stage.  These songs force a broken-up concert, by a talented musician, into quite a good show - seemingly with the objective of selling CDs. 

That being said, there is a lot to like here.  The very deliberate use of props and lighting was exemplary.  The props so well chosen so minimalist that they blend seamlessly into the theme.  The lighting fluctuating perfectly with the moods of the protagonist.   The acting in this thing is superb, Devon begins by pushing histrionics well beyond what is considered safe and then slowly through out the show dials it back.  The dialing back, I believe, is why by day two of her meditation experience I not only wanted her to succeed but felt like I was watching a friend.  Which is good, because at the end of the day this play is just an exercise in narcissism that you either forgive and buy into and follow on a journey of self discovery through meditation, or you sit for an hour counting your breaths.

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