audience & critics comment on “The Killdeer”

“This show really had me. I was reeled in. Strange and quite absorbing. Very nicely acted, beautifully lit and perfect off-kilter music and sound design. Elements of archetypal fairy tale stuff, Shakespearean devices all make this quite a wonderful outing. Best to [director] Barbara Larose and her team.  Definitely worth checking out this Canadian play.” – AUDIENCE MEMBER


 “The play revolves around a murder mystery but it’s much more than that. It’s about small towns and gossip, about parents and children and coming of age, about enduring relationships, about love and jealousy, all timeless themes.  …During the scene between Harry Gardner (Paul Hardy) and his about-to-be ex-wife Vernelle (Joanne Sarazen) you could almost see the electricity, the energy between the audience and the stage.”  – MOONEYonTHEATRE
 Mooney also singles out a couple of other cast members for special mention:  “..the two that stayed in my mind are Naomi Vondell as Mrs. Soper, the jailer’s wife. Her performance was lyrical, she seemed to be floating, almost ethereal. The other is Michael Vitorovich as Mr Manatee, the terrifying hangman.”
“Alumnae Theatre has done students and friends of Canadian drama an invaluable service by reviving James Reaney’s first play The Killdeer (1960). …The play is important not just for launching Reaney’s career as a playwright but for providing the first example of what would later be called Southwestern Ontario Gothic that finds strange and lurid doings beneath the seemingly placid façade of small town life.  …Marysia Bucholc’s set does much to remind us we are not quite in the realm of realism.  …While the story is complex and the characters seem to speak in riddles, once you reach the surprising conclusion, you realize clearly that a search for the one’s family, one’s self, one’s identity is what the play has been about since the very beginning.  …The Killdeer should be better known and we can only be thankful that a company like the Alumnae Theatre has chosen to bring its richness and importance back to our attention.”  – STAGE-DOOR (Christopher Hoile)
 Hoile  praises Blythe Haynes [as Rebecca] for  “effortlessly maintaining the balance between poetry and realism throughout the play”, and notes that  “Tricia Brioux [as Madam Fay] gives an absolutely fiery performance as a human being whose inner torment causes her to become an embodiment of evil. ”


 Intrigued yet?  Catch the show up to April 27.  There’s a Talkback session with director, designers and cast following the Sunday matinee on April 21.

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Filed under 2012/13 Season, The Killdeer

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