Review: The Unsatisfactory Supper and Something Unspoken (The Tennessee Project)
By Sam Mooney
Tonight my friend Debbie and I saw two short plays by Tennessee Williams. We were at the Cabbagetown venue, The Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club, not a theatre but a good space for theatre. Hopefully we’ll see more theatre here.
Tennessee Williams described this as his favourite short play. It wasn’t my favourite of the ones I’ve seen so far but I did enjoy it. Parts of it were quite funny and the underlying theme resonates today – or resonates with me. What do you do with the old relative who lives with you and is losing it. We’ve all heard that Eskimos used to put their old people on ice floes to die. Apparently in the South they left them out in a tornado. (I really hope my son-in-law isn’t reading this.)
Erin Hamilton was Aunt Rose. It’s tough to play someone who is almost 100 when you’re young but Erin did a credible job. Neil Brown as Archie Lee and Sarah Grange as Baby Doll has an easier time, playing roles closer to their ages. Neil did the best teeth sucking I’ve seen.
When we arrived there was a paper flower on each seat and we were asked to hold them, to be the garden. A lovely touch.
Not everything that a playwright creates should be produced. Debbie and I both thought that Something Unspoken was past its sell-by date.
From the program “Meet aging southern-belle-spinster Miss Cornelia Scott and her secretary Miss Grace Lancaster, two eccentric companions with something deep and buried between them.” Could it be “The love that dare not speak its name”? Probably.
When I don’t connect with a play I find myself noticing and getting irritated by little things. I’m not going to make a list of them.
The thing that kept going through my head was that the actors were too young to be playing aging women. I never believed the characters and for me, and Debbie, they became caricatures.
There are still two nights left in The Tennessee Project. Time for you to go and see theatre in an unconventional venue in your neighbourhood. I’ve enjoyed it a lot.
- The Tennessee Project runs until May 7th at seven venues across the city.
- Performances are at 8pm except in The Annex where they begin at 7:30
- Tickets are $18.00 and are available online or at the door.