KATHY BLANCHARD provides comic relief, if a bit too scripted

Published on: January 17, 2015

Filled Under: Next Stage Theatre Festival

Views: 673

Geoffrey Pounsett, Daniel-Pagett



By Lindsay SwansonThe Next Stage Theatre Festival has categorized FOR A GOOD TIME CALL CATHY BLANCHARD as a comedy. It has definitely been written as a comedic production, but it’s as comedic as that person you know that cracks jokes in every awkward, serious moment. But in this production, the comedic relief is necessary – because how else do you deal with marriage, family, and death?

The story begins when we meet Lawrence and Mary; two neurotic people in their own distinctive ways. We learn they are cousins and they currently find themselves as roommates in Lawrence’s childhood home. Lawrence’s mother is gravely ill in the hospital and his father has requested that Mary house-sits while he stays at the hospital and the house is undergoing renovation. Mary is overbearing and not very likeable from the get-go. Then we meet Sky, who is married to Lawrence’s sister, and has been the pro-Bono contractor for the house renovation – and as such has been spending a lot of time with Mary.  As the production begins to take on slapstick-comedy chaos, Amanda is introduced as Lawrence’s new girlfriend, much to the surprise of his ever-knowing cousin. The story continues to unfold as each character is pushed beyond their defences and subsequently come to blows with one another.

For a 60 min production, it is entertaining and provides a good opportunity to catch some of the NSTF. The set design and lighting was brilliant – interesting and extremely creative, providing a lot of imagery simply and effectively.

The story is perhaps intended to be a dark-ish comedy that addresses heavy themes within a dysfunctional dynamic.  However the comedic relief was at times too scripted and formulaic. The relationships lacked character development and chemistry which unfortunately resulted in waning interest in their outcomes. Overall, an entertaining night out at the theatre, but lacking some factors to hit it out of the park.

One more chance to see this show – tomorrow, Jan. 18 @6:15pm! For tix click here.

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