Delicacy by Theatre Brouhaha opened to a packed audience on Thursday night at the Lower Ossington Theatre for SummerWorks 2013. Kat Sandler’s play began with snappy and biting dialogue, delivered so naturally by Tenille Read (Tanya) and Andy Trithardt (Mark) that I wondered if we had all imposed ourselves on a couple’s living room.
Tanya and Mark are a couple trying to spice up their marriage. They had experimented at a local swinger’s club and are hoping to rekindle the adventure with the same couple. The other couple, Len (Kaleb Alexander) and Colby (Kelly McCormack) enter the home with the confidence of well-seasoned swingers. Slowly the wild fantasy is interrupted by reality, both in a funny and shockingly harsh way.
Delicacy feels like an appropriate name. The sensitive nature of the two relationships and of the act of “swinging” caused sudden serious turns, making my smile falter within seconds. The quick dialogue and fantastic actors bring a certain ease to the show, but throughout the play you know you can’t trust it. A twisted tension lies underneath every joke and movement. It would be downright stressful if it weren’t so entertaining.
The play takes on a touchy subject and runs with it, getting at the raw human feelings of jealousy, inadequacy and confusion. The sexual freedom provided by experimentation is cleverly shown to be more of a trap, bringing more trouble than a mediocre and expected night with a husband/wife. It plays with the idea of letting loose and taking down walls in two ways. The first being swinging. The second being the slow stripping of each character, so that they appear (emotionally) naked and vulnerable.
The cast delivers both comedy and drama, switching from silly to serious at the drop of a hat. I would say that it is possible that I love this play because it has all the qualities I look for in a performance–sharp dialogue and raw emotion without delving into melodrama. But I didn’t seem to be the only person who felt elated – the show received a standing ovation.
- Delicacy (Theatre Brouhaha) is playing at the Lower Ossington Theatre (100A Ossington Avenue, Toronto).
- Performances: Friday August 9, 2:30 pm, Sunday August 11, 7:30 pm, Tuesday August 13, 2:30 pm, Wednesday August 14, 7:30 pm, Friday August 16, 12:00 pm, Saturday August 17, 5:00 pm.
- All individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at http://ticketwise.ca, By phone by calling the Lower Ossington Box Office at 416-915-6747, in person at the Lower Ossington Box Office (located at 100A Ossington Avenue) Mon. – Sun. 12PM-7PM (Advance tickets are $15 + service fee)
- Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows