Friday
Apr242015

Review: The Lucky Ones, Cam Fuller, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Flawed characters find each other
BY CAM FULLER, THE STARPHOENIX APRIL 21, 2015

Well, it's not The Notebook.

The Nicholas Sparks tearjerker about a lifetime romance doesn't allude to the Inuit creation myth of Sedna.

The Lucky Ones does. Writer Kelley Jo Burke uses the rather disturbing story of the undersea goddess to poetically describe Enid's unique personality and the way she needs to be off in her own world, much to the frequent dismay of her husband, Marty. He's an obituary writer, of all things. She's - I missed it - an anthropologist? A folklorist?

The play begins with Enid's stroke. After many years of marriage, there are still some things that Marty needs to know, and he's not letting Enid duck out on him without some answers. (Burke doesn't load the deck in her favour with sentimentality but does get the emotional hooks into you by the climactic final speech.)

The new play at Dancing Sky Theatre makes many more demands on the viewer than would a shiny-perfect Hollywood movie.

The characters are not easy to warm up to, for starters. Marty (Sean Hoy) and Enid (Louisa Ferguson) are misfits with traumatic pasts.

Marty spent years tending to an ill mother who told him that as long as he made her laugh, she'd live. The day he couldn't think of anything funny, she died.

Enid's background is even more unsettling, a disturbing tale of sexual identity, parental hysteria and what amounts to torture.

It would be nice to actually like them, but Marty's clinging and insecurities put you on edge and Enid's fragility is unsettling.

You have to approach both gingerly.

This being an Angus Fergusondirected play, you can expect pleasing theatricality and artfully simple solutions to portraying difficult things.

Like, how does a person in a coma participate in a conversation? Or what's the best way to depict lovemaking without it turning into sex-ed?

Live music, another Dancing Sky hallmark, is here performed by Ross Nykiforuk, employing a variety of keyboard sounds (including some notes from Supertramp's Goodbye Stranger at a highly appropriate moment.)

But what really stands out is the acting, from the chemistry which is good, to the memory work which is monumental.

It's hard to believe that it's been seven years since Hoy trod the boards. His every-guy-ness is as warm as always.

And Louisa Ferguson's performance is stunningly accomplished, truly one of the best of the season. She invests completely in the role, fully inhabits this difficult woman and fathoms the depths with convincing emotions.

The Lucky Ones may not be a play you reflexively like but it's one that's impossible not to appreciate.

THE LUCKY ONES

Dancing Sky Theatre, Meacham To May 3, Thursdays through Sundays

Thursday
Apr092015

Tickets on sale for The Lucky Ones by Kelley Jo Burke, world premiere, Dancing Sky Theatre, April 17-May 3

The Lucky Ones

Harvest Hall Meacham SK

April 17, 18, 24, 25 May 1, 2 8:30pm

April 23, 30 8:00pm

April 19,26 May 3 2:30pm

Dancing Sky Theatre presents
The Lucky Ones by Kelley Jo Burke
A Premiere production
Featuring Louisa Ferguson and Sean Hoy
Music by Ross Nykiforuk
Stage Managed by Kenilee Kehler
Directed and Designed by Angus Ferguson

The Lucky Ones, is a story of mature love. It’s about Enid and Marty, who met by chance and despite genuine doubts about human relationships, fell for each other one summer night.  This touching and funny play is about their marriage, their life together, and the end of their life together.

The Lucky Ones is a companion piece to Kelley Jo's award winning play The Selkie Wife, which Dancing Sky Theatre premiered in 2008.

Wednesday
Dec032014

New production at my beloved Dancing Sky Theatre

 

 

 

 

 

 

And while we are on the topic of happy news--my new play The Lucky Ones--will have its world premiere at Dancing SKy Theatre--the best little theatre in the world--in April 2015.

Wednesday
Dec032014

Newfoundland Ho!

 

 

 

 

Something I have always wanted is going to happen--a little company in Newfoundland is going to do my play The Selkie Wife at the Provincial Drama Festival in March. This piece, set in the Prairies, but full of the east coast, has always desperately wanted to have a production by the sea. Thank you Great Falls-Windsor--birthplace of Gordon Pinsent!

Saturday
Jul192014

The Reluctant Artiste gives a TedX Regina Talk

This is my TedX Regina 2014 talk about  what I learned while touring my creative non-fiction memoir, Ducks on the Moon. Thanks so much to Jayden Pfeifer, Johanna Bundon  and Nevin Danielson for putting together such a wonderful event. 

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