Optimistically Cautious

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Theatre Network: "A Beautiful View"

My first show of this theatre season was Theatre Network's A Beautiful View, showing at the Roxy Theatre (with newly renovated bathrooms!). Website synopsis in a nutshell:

"Two nameless women come together, drop out of each other’s lives, and meet again to the realization that some things are impossible to give up."

The two women were played by Davina Stewart and Caroline Livingstone, and were the principal reason behind why I decided to see this play. But even now, after some reflection, I'm still not sure what to make of it.

The play began on a laboriously slow note - without any speaking for the first few minutes. And between the dim lighting and soundtrack of crickets, May and I struggled to keep up. The set throughout was very much bare bones (something I am not used to seeing at the Roxy), almost to the point of Fringe-like simplicity. This did ensure that the audience would not be distracted from the two leads.

The constant repetition of the phrase "nothing is enough" (whether it is interpreted as nothing can ever be sufficient, or to have nothing is fine) was and interesting thread throughout, especially as the women traversed jobs, marriages, and deaths in the family.

At the crux of it, I did resonate with the central message of the play - questioning society's constant need to label everything (e.g. "couple", "heterosexual") because I know I am sometimes guilty of jumping to naming as the easy conclusion. I could see that for these women, whether they were friends and/or lovers really didn't matter - their connection, and only the connection that they felt with one another without judgment or expectation was important.

The ending was another story entirely, and one that felt to me like a cop-out. But I am willing to admit that I may simply not have understood or appreciated the possibility of it coming across as beautifully simple.

A Beautiful View wasn't the best way to start off the new theatre season, but then again, it can only get better from here.

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