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Transcript: Connie Meng Review aired Monday, September 17, 2001
1000 Islands Playhouse, Ganonoque, ON. Thursday, September 6 through Sunday, September 30, 2001.
QUARRY, a three-character thriller written by Gananoque actor and director Mo Bock, has a convoluted plot that is open to a number of interpretations. Some audience members may find it a bit confusing, but it does hold your interest, from the double entendre of the title to the final twist of the ending.
Part of the confusion arises from the set, which leaves us in doubt as to where we are. We're told that it's a secluded house in the woods, and yet it seems to be partially constructed of steel and concrete in an odd contrast with a great deal of rustic wood. Also, why are there three door upstairs, one of which is never used? (I found myself waiting for someone to jump out and say "Boo!")
Another question, this time for Dan Rider, the Lighting Designer. Were the distorted shadows caused by the light outside the front door intentional? If so, I'm not sure what the point was, as they were a bit distracting. As for Kathryn MacKay's costumes, they're just fine, especially Sally's.
There's a basic problem with the play, and it's difficult to tell whether it's the writing or Gyllian Raby's direction. I would suspect it's a bit of both. We don't know enough about these three characters to care about them. As a result, the play becomes totally about the plot and its twists and turns.
It's never clear whether David Wyatt, played by David Fox, is hallucinating, playing games, or mad, although he does claim to have squirrels in his attic. Is this meant to be another double entendre? Marny Simms, played by Brooke Johnson, enters irritated, then progresses to anger and argumentative bluster. It's all one emotional color with not a hint of vulnerability. Thus a character that we're meant to like becomes totally unsympathetic. Unless we know more about these two characters, we don't care much about the outcome of their overly long argument in Act II.
Sally Wing, entertainingly played by Keira Loughran, is by far the most interesting, but again we don't know enough about her. However, I found her character the most believable, particularly in the final scene.
To sum up, I feel the play still needs work, but for an initial shot out of the box it's pretty good. Gananoque seems to be swarming with playwrights. It's quite ambitious to present two premieres back to back.
On a scale of one
to five, the 1000 Islands Playhouse production of QUARRY gets three and three-quarters
fish. For North Country Public Radio, I'm Connie Meng.