Review: Someone Else (Crow’s Theatre)

Kristen Thomson’s deftly written script brings depth to the Toronto theatre scene in Someone Else

Someone Else, presented by Crow’s Theatre in association with Canadian Stage, investigates the deteriorating relationship between a married couple with raw truth and shows how the past can often lead to self-destruction. With an extraordinary cast of actors, astute and detailed direction, and a uniquely written and layered script, Someone Else, is a theatrical feat that reminds us of the strength and value of theatre.

Written by the remarkably talented Kristen Thomson, Someone Else, develops characters of great depth. Her narrative approach is raw and honest making the story’s plot undeniably real and unpredictable. In this piece, Thomson fearlessly goes where most do not dare to go.

The show begins with stand-up comedian, Cathy, played by Kristen Thomson, practicing her upcoming comedy act in her bare apartment. Cathy is sharp, witty, overwhelming funny and deeply emotional – the perfect contrast to her husband Peter, played by Tom Rooney. Both Thomson and Rooney capture their characters with such refined detail. The journey each character takes, particularly Rooney as Peter, is transformative.

Thomson and Rooney are an example of two talented actors playing off one another freely and generously creating for the audience moments of great truth and fragility. From the celebration of their anniversary night to the final scene of the play, Thomson and Rooney honestly depict the trials and tribulations of a marriage at the brink.

Bahia Watson was also phenomenal in her role as April, an at-risk young teenage girl. Though portraying the façade of a tough street kid, Watson delicately captures the vulnerability and resilience of her character. From rehab to her final heroic monologue at the end, Watson’s creation is believable and heartfelt.

Damien Atkins as David, a brain injury victim, creates for us a poignant and powerful scene in which the victim becomes very much a hero.

Walking into the Berkeley Downstairs Theatre space was a moment of impact. The large open set painted in white with bright lights, various doors, and piles of boxes on the far left created a vast sense of openness and opportunity. From a conceptual sense alone, this set although simple, was a sharp contrast to all the brick in the Berkeley Theatre. Julie Fox, dually talented as set designer and costume designer captures the depth and perspective of this play through minimal and intelligent design.

Following in her footsteps is the lighting designer Kimberly Purtell whose lighting design was equally effective.

Artistic director Chris Abraham along with movement consultant Susie Burpee collaborated to create a seamless vision of this play. Nearing the climax of the play in which a telephone rings incessantly throughout, is an intense moment in which the characters move sporadically interweaving from door to door.

An outstanding piece of theatre, Someone Else produced by Crow’s Theatre is truly a masterpiece that can only be explained by experiencing it. This piece was meant for the stage.

Details

Someone Else, produced by Crow’s Theatre and presented by Canadian Stage is playing at the Berkeley Downstairs Theatre at 26 Berkeley Street from January 7th through February 2nd, 2013.

-Ticket prices range from $22-$47. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 416-368-3110 or by visiting www.canadianstage.com or www.crowstheatre.com

Photograph of Kristen Thomson as Cathy and Tom Rooney as Peter provided by Suzanne Cheriton