Skip to main content

And So It Goes - George F. Walker's new play at Factory Theatre Toronto

And So It Goes
Written & Directed by George F. Walker
Starring Martha Burns, Peter Donaldson, Jerry Franken & Jenny Young
Factory Theatre, Toronto

Continues to February 28

George F. Walker's latest play, And So It Goes, unfolds in a succession of brief scenes, and it's that format - and the flashes of humour in the superbly written dialogue - that keep the piece from becoming too dark. It is, after all, dark material that it explores. Ned (Donaldson) has lost his job at an age where few are willing to look at him, and in an era where the opportunities are few to begin with. His daughter Karen (Young) is locked in a druggy schizophrenic hell where brushes with police and the judicial system have become routine. Gwen, (Burns) the wife and mother, tries to carry on through sheer will and the help of her own secret therapist, the ghost of none other than Kurt Vonnegut (Franken). Son Alex, who appears only in mention, left the scene long ago. (Donaldson - standing, and Burns consult with Franken's Vonnegut in the image.)

Things go from bad to worse. The house they live in becomes a series of ever smaller apartments, Ned flunks chef school and Karen runs away, disappears to go back to hooking on the street, where the police don't even try to find her anymore, until she turns up as yet another sad statistic. So what do you do when when the very underpinnings of your life give way, and you're left with nothing but despair and a palpable sense of grief? (Young as Karen in the image.)

It must be something of a challenge as an actor to so fully flesh out your role in the brief scenes and snippets of dialogue in Walker's play, but the casting here is virtually perfect. Donaldson and Burns, both veterans of the stage, don't have a false note as the parents who go from trying to manage and move on to simply trying to get through the day, morphing from middle class respectability to dirty denizens of the street and homeless shelters. Jenny Young turns in a wonderful performance as Karen, showing us the sad, confused soul inside the craziness. Franken has perhaps the hardest role of all, since his imaginary character is a reflection of those who imagine him, and provides much of the play's humour in the role of the self satisfied auteur. They're aided by an ingenious minimalist set design by Shawn Kerwin, consisting of a dimensional backdrop that handily switches from living room to park to street side and homeless shelter with a few props here and there. (The wall that was postered with Reg Hartt notices was my favourite touch!)

The house was deservedly packed for opening night. It's gritty, but not depressing, and while I wouldn't exactly go as far as to call it uplifting, it does speak to the strength of the human spirit, to that determination to continue and find purpose in life in the face of the worst of it. Walker's script is nuanced and keenly observant of human nature. You'll laugh as you sympathize, and you really must see it.

All the images are by Ed Gass-Donnelly, courtesy of Factory Theatre.

Comments

  1. Best theater play however the death of the main character was too sudden

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Film News - imagineNATIVE Embargo Collective at the Berlin Film Fest

Hot Off the Presses:
(and gosh, doesn't that expression sound quaint these days?)

imagineNATIVE’s EMBARGO COLLECTIVE
to have its European Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival 2010
(Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin 11.-21.02.10)

(Toronto, February 3rd, 2010) The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is pleased to announce the official selection of the festival’s Embargo Collective programme for the Forum Expanded section of this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. This programme of works was commissioned by the imagineNATIVE festival for its 10th anniversary and will have its European premiere Monday, February 15th, 8.30pm at Cinema Arsenal 2 and a repeat screening Wednesday, February 17th, 4pm at CinemaxX 6.

Curated by imagineNATIVE’s Artistic Director Danis Goulet, the Embargo Collective is an international group of seven Indigenous artists at the forefront of the changing global landscape of Indigenous cinema. Inspired by Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructi…

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Guitar Rock | Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds Independent: May 31, 2019

Guitar Rock
Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds
Independent: May 31, 2019
Stream/Buy on Bandcamp
Stream it on Spotify

With tight musicians and intriguing lyrics, Happy Freuds delivers high energy guitar rock with stylistic flair on Echo Of Sounds, their debut release. Produced with a minimum of overdubs or fixes, the album consists of a mix of original material, rearrangements of works from others and selected, less known, classic rock.

A kinetic rhythm section is the bones of the music, offering interesting patterns that augment sometimes unexpected harmonic changes. It's brainy rock, in other words, meant for music lovers who can appreciate the quality. Teo's vocals are raspy and expressive, growly when necessary - perfect for the musical mode. Teo also covers lead guitar, adapt at ear worm leads, with a tone that can be clean or dirty as required

Their sound ranges from straight up hard rock in tracks like The Mountain to the pop-flavoured acoustic Background Noise and folky To …