Babelle Theatre's This, Here provides philosophical musings on identity and the meaning of life

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

This, Here | Babelle Theatre | Vancity Culture Lab at The Cultch | July 18 – 28, 2018

What happens when we are removed from any environment or context that usually defines our identity? What if we have no job; we don’t “do” anything? Then who are we? James King’s play, directed by Marie Farsi, asks us to consider these questions and think about our own stripped-down identity.

Alison’s Dad, Brian (David Bloom), has recently moved to the Sunshine Coast, and his life is still in boxes. “It’s a work-in-progress,” he says as he welcomes Alison (Olivia Hutt) and her partner, Maddie (Sara Vickruck). His life, and his writing, is in a perpetual work-in-progress state is seems — a very relatable situation as we are always working to improve our careers, our diet, our health, and our relationships.

When Alison tells her father she has stopped acting and is attempting to figure out what she really wants to spend her time on, he doesn’t understand. The visit is fraught with tension as Alison is frustrated by her father’s lack of caring about anything except his writing — he didn’t get around to setting up the guest room and they end up sleeping on the floor in the living room.

Maddie bonds with Brian over THC oil on crackers, and later on the three end up doing a staged reading of one of Brian’s plays. Alison and Brian share an intense discussion about life and art that is well-written and authentic. Maddie has her own worries as she is thinking about selling her catering business that has her working 14-hour days. Her enthusiasm and concern for Alison are genuine and measured. Rather than remain a simple family fight in the dining room, the play within a play adds depth and rounds out the emotional texture. This cast does well with material that doesn’t include much action, but instead is a sort of philosophical musing on the meaning of life and what is integral to our identity.

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn