Reviews - Fringe 2009

Betting on the Riverman

By Judith Sandiford
Published July 21, 2009

This neatly constructed drama shows the manipulative workings of a gambler's tactics, especially when he is cornered and all previous strategies have been played out.

The "Riverman" in this play is the one who picks the bodies out of the river beside the hotel. However, there is a second meaning that also seems to apply. Poker players speak of the "river card", the last card in a round that can change your fortune.

Gambler Eddie (Richard Archer) has perhaps one last chance in a gambling hotel. Ex-wife Val (Nea Reid) won't play along any more. The enforcer's messenger Grace (Caroline Concordia) has no pity. Last card is dad (Carl Gambacort).

The play moves briskly through Eddie's downward spiral. The acting is effective and believable. Hamilton writer and actor David B. Fraser's previous Fringe outings include Gerald Hilroy's Guide To The Art Of Seduction and Emma Porter.

Judith Sandiford is a theatre designer, a visual artist, and Managing Director of Artword Theatre. With partner playwright and director Ronald Weihs, she created and operated a performance facility in Toronto, where, for over 12 years, they created, fostered and presented many original works of theatre and dance. In 2008, Artword relocated to Hamilton where it has just completed its season of four original works with a Hamilton theme. Artword is currently working on its plans for its 2009-2010 season here.

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