© Frank Gale
Members of the Northern Lights Theatre Company of Labrador West, from left, Lester Simmons, Ruth Simmons, Kathy-Lynn Lee and Wayne Button rehearse a scene from “God of Carnage” on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre.
Northern Lights brought the show “God of Carnage,” by Yasmina Reza, to the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Drama Festival on Thursday. “God of Carnage” is the story of two sets of parents who come together to discuss an altercation at a local park between their children. One of the children suffered from a damaged tooth and the parents attempt to reach an agreement on how to proceed.
But what was intended to be a quick, mature meeting slowly grows into a dispute more juvenile than that of their children.
The Novaks and the Raleighs are meeting for the first time. As the characters politely get acquainted with each other, there are many long awkward pauses in the conversation. These moments are painfully real and the audience could see the characters grasping for things to say to break the silence. These immaculately portrayed moments of reality had the audience invested in these characters from the first scene.
A huge part of the magic of this show was the authenticity of the characters. Audience members undoubtedly know people who bare striking resemblances to each character.
Allan, played by Lester Simmons, is man of business. Alan was capable of ignoring all the commotion around him in order to bark orders into his permanently fixed cellphone. Allan’s wife Annette, played by Ruth Simmons, was an obviously agitated wife who, overcome with stress became physically ill on more than one occasion.
The Novaks, played by Wayne Button and Kathy-Lynn Lee, began as a united front but their façade crumbled and it became apparent that this couple was in disrepair. Each actor gave a notable performance.
The set was practical, yet eye-catching with an obvious colour pallet that was also picked up in the costumes. It looked as if it could have been taken straight from a living room and brought to the stage.
The audience was doubled over in laughter for the vast majority of the show and the cast seemed to feed of this energy. First-time director Craig Robinson, equipped with a brilliant cast, pulls off a professional calibre show.
Tonight at 8 p.m., the Mokami Players take the stage with Morris Panych’s “Girl in the Goldfish Bowl.”