Reviewed by Trish Francis
David Simms directs this poignant and dramatic comedy by Tom Griffin, with great success.
Diane, whose car has broken down in the middle of a blizzard, is forced to spend the night at the home of Bill, a highly regarded but reclusive novelist. They become acquainted amidst frequent interruptions from colourful local townsfolk, a polar bear that has escaped from a nearby zoo and the ramblings of Bill’s ageing father, who once encountered Albert Einstein.
In this production Bill is played by Adam Tuominen, who handles the complex dialogue and diverse emotions very capably, but is perhaps a little young to be entirely believable as the infamous author, given what we learn about the reasons for his withdrawal from society. Norm Caddick plays Andrew, Bill’s aged and senile father, successfully negotiating the thin line between the humour, confusion, and anguish of his predicament. He uses stillness and timing to great effect.
Allison Scharber as Diane delivers a fine performance that has us vacillating between sympathy and scorn as her motives become clearer. Peter Davies is a likeable Charlie, demonstrating obvious affection for the townsfolk and a pedantry manner. Shelly Hampton is delightful as the emotionally complex but somewhat scatty Helen, and emanates real warmth. Andrew Horwood plays the eagerly anticipated Bobby, a character who we presume we will abhor but find ourselves growing rather fond of.
This quirky play is a clever, humorous and engaging snapshot in the lives of these loveable characters and is well worth braving the cold to see.