By Adam Collier
St. Vladimir’s Theatre was frigid the evening I attended (on Thursday). Men were rubbing their arms for warmth. Women were slipping into long-sleeve shirts.
Eve’s Garden opens with a dispute between the character whose name is shared in the title, and Adam. The former accuses the latter of neglecting her. While the latter retorts that the work that takes-up his time is indispensable to their survival. It comes across as a relationship without much love.
As we quickly find-out though, gluing the two together is her libido. And a glob of vanity (leaving Adam would be like admitting she’s responsible for getting them booted from the Garden of Eden).
Eve is – moreover – so sure that she is not responsible in that she intends to prove this to a character named Viatti.
Strictly on the basis of what I saw, I couldn’t follow why Eve (played by Cosette Derome) would want to save a relationship to – evidently – a jerk like Adam (Michael Malisic). Or care about proving her innocence to Viatti (Kurt Spenrath).
But with the title – Eve’s Garden – there’s a larger narrative that sort-of sweeps aside those questions that would naturally emerge in any other play that focuses on a troubled relationship with a third party onstage.
After a couple of flashbacks, I was totally confused.
Just a couple of questions – Why does Eve continuously refer to her sisters? And, why is there a vast difference in vocabulary between Adam and Eve? (On a related note, why does Adam use words like ‘bullshit’ while Viatti uses phrases like ‘Bid ye farewell’?)
People around me seemed pleasantly engaged, laughing intermittently.
I couldn’t follow the flashbacks. It wasn’t clear if Eve was aware of going back in time, or only the audience was aware of the chronological shift.
I suspect that there were sequences when she was aware of going back and other times when it was strictly for the benefit of the audience. But I had a lot of trouble keeping-up.
On a positive note, Ms Derome and Mr Spenrath give top-notch performances. They sound nice and move well, and – were I not aware of the title – I’d swear they were the lead romantic couple, playing-off one another easily.
– Eve’s Garden plays at St. Vladimir’s Theatre (620 Spadina)
– There is one remaining performance: Sunday, July 11th at 1:00PM