A Slight Ache

BY HAROLD PINTER
Staged in July 1999 @ Memorial Hall, UNB, Fredericton, NB

CAST/CREW
Edward – Scott Shannon
Flora – Allison Surtees
a Matchseller – Dave Hall

Director – Robert Moore

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REVIEW:
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Nasty Shadows Theatre Company presents plays
The Daily Gleaner (Fredericton)
Saturday, June 26, 1999
Byline: Rachel Doak-for The Daily Gleaner
Length: 379 words

The play draws its comedy from its repetition and realism. The audience empathizes with the actors as they live through a summer afternoon in their garden. Their lack of communication and independent determination are very amusing. The Nasty Shadows Theatre Company’s production of two one-act plays drew a small but receptive crowd last night at Memorial Hall on the UNB campus.

The first play, The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year by John Guare, featured Debbie Gray and Dave Hall. The story, a strange comedy in which reality and fantasy are intertwined, takes place in a park.

Two strangers, a young girl and a peculiar man, become friends. They meet regularly on Sundays to exchange stories but know nothing of each other’s lives.

The audience is given the task of deciphering what is true, and what is simply the rambling of a unique gentleman.

The characters came across as rather ambiguous but the directing by Robert Moore carried them through. The bizarre sketch was entertaining and set the tone for the evening.

The second one-act play, A Slight Ache by Harold Pinter, was a mind-game of perspective and reality. The plot centres around a silent man (a seller of matchboxes) whose identity the other characters attempt to discover. The silent character’s presence (or non-presence) is lessened by the fact that this was a visual play. The original script was written for radio.

Nevertheless, the mystery of whether the match man exists or not was well portrayed. Scott Shannon gave a strong performance as Edward, the character who becomes more and more disturbed as the play progresses. Shannon drew the audience with his commanding presence and led them into his fragile reality.

The play draws its comedy from its repetition and realism. The audience empathizes with the actors as they live through a summer afternoon in their garden. Their lack of communication and independent determination are very amusing.

The Nasty Shadows Theatre Company was founded this year and is funded by the Lorenzo Society of the University of New Brunswick. Their next project is an original two-act play by Robert Moore entitled Rougher Magic.

The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year and A Slight Ache will be playing at Memorial Hall Saturday night at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
© 1999 The Daily Gleaner (Fredericton)


To read other reviews and/or articles about other productions, please click here.


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