Reviews - Fringe 2009

The Invisible Girl

By Tom Mackan
Published July 21, 2009

By Carol Davies
Directed by Ron MacDonald
Featuring Evan MacDonald, Laura Roughley, Trista Mertens, Abigail Crutchley, Sara Korpela, Emma Skowron

Skip the play for a moment and consider this company of young women, all potentially strong actors. Each performance exposes a talent that has excellent possibility for a future in stage and drama, and I'm sure we'll see one or more of them again.

Evan MacDonald captured the real fear her character has of being the teenager who is unattractive and unpopular. She gives a lovely interpretation of the lilt and style of the high school girl in her speech and presence.

As her sister, Trista Mertens delivers just the right beats to her confusion between mockery, self-indulgence, and a deeper need to help, to rescue.

In her role as single mother of teenagers, Laura Roughley conveys her understanding of the conflicts and terrors her daughters endure, and still manages to keep the right level of compassion and guidance.

A lovely portrayal of two separate supporting characters is given by Abigail Crutchely, with a speaking delivery of clear articulation. Sarah Korpela and Emma Skowron hover confidently; their antagonistic mischief displayed in every knowing smile, their planned indifference to the damage they're causing nicely handled.

The Play is an issue play, a tricky thing. When the issue overtakes the characters, and it does in this work, we get the long and awkward expositions, many delivered down stage and in straight lines, in order to be sure we understand the conflicts being played out. A pity, because these performers have talent and deserve a script where they live the issue, where we learn of it from their own creativity - not simply demonstrate it like an infomercial.

Director MacDonald has made the most of it all, handling the business expertly, however. Playwright Davies has writing talent, but might reconsider the overly expository treatment she's given of the subject. But the show is very much worth seeing, be reassured.

TNgM

Tom Mackan is Publisher and editor of NEWZY BITZ, an online Community Theatre newsletter in the GHA, with over 200 subscribers. He is a Member of the Board, Theatre Burlington; an actor and director in GHA Community Theatre for fifty years; winner of over 25 awards and citations in the Western Ontario region and beyond; recipient of 2007 City of Hamilton Arts Award (Theatre); a Graduate of Canadian Theatre School (Sterndale Bennett) Toronto, 1955; and a retired teacher of English and Drama in public and private schools in the GHA and abroad.

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