Review: BrightSide Theatre’s God of Carnage

So technically this was written a month or so ago, and even though it is probably a moot point to post this, I decided instead to just wrap it up and post it anyway since I enjoyed this production regardless:

By: Yasmina Reza
Translated By: Christopher Hampton
Location: BrightSide Theatre
Director: Derek Bertelsen

Several days ago I found myself seated and waiting for BrightSide Theatre‘s God of Carnage to begin. Front row… dead center, which for a lot of stage setups would have been perfect, except for this particular set up it wasn’t, not exactly anyway.

But before I go on… the quick and simple:
Acting: Like
Set Design: Like
Staging: Love
Directing: Love

After this particular production there were so many thoughts running through my brain that I truly couldn’t find a way to organize it all. So for the sake of simplicity before going into detail, here are a little bit of what I was thinking when the show ended:
– The men felt more consistent than the women
– Veronica showed a lot more subtlety and layers
– The gag was obvious than I would have liked
– There was a lot of material added that fleshed out the characters, comedy, and story
– It never once felt like this was on stage and I was watching from the audience. It felt like I was there in the living room with the characters and just watching this unfold in front of me.

That last one is probably the most significant of all the pieces. The feeling that you are a part of the conversation without having to utter a word. That feeling of being a part of the conversation, of the chaos between the two families is what sets this production apart from others…

When you first walk into the theatre the set up of the “stage” was in a-round… or rather close to it. The living room set was in the center and surrounded on three sides with audience seating. Thinking about it as my friend and I took our seats… there was a sense of being a part of the show without actually having to interact, if that makes sense.

So when the production actually started – for me – there really was a sense of being a part of the conversation without actually participating… and having that warped perception probably helped the audience in being engaged with the characters and with the story as it unfolded.

Because of the staging, there would be times when the actors’ backs would be to the audience, but each of the four actors projected so well that this was not a problem and in fact added to feel of being a part of the conversation without actually having to participate.

However, since I already gave a bit of a bullet point list earlier… what else is there left to say?

Well except, if BrightSide continues to produce strong productions I might find myself drawn enough to see their work on my own as opposed to because of other friends. 🙂

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