Beautiful Thing – Theatre Review
Pride Film and Plays brings you Johathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing, a story about 2 boys coming to grips with their sexuality. The cast includes Michelle McKenzie-Voight and Patrick Rybarczyk as Sandra and Tony, with Robert Hilliard as Jamie, Charlie Wein as Ste, and Kiah McKirnan as Leah. Directed by John Nasca.
I always go into a queer production hoping to love it, and sometimes I find myself leaving the venue disappointed. I am afraid that Pride Film and Plays production of Beautiful Thing was one of those disappointments. The play, set in England, and obviously played by American actors was the first hurdle that you have to face when watching this play. Of course having seen a lot of plays where accents and dialects are not properly portrayed, it is easy to be annoyed by it but not hard to move on after thinking to yourself, “where is the voice coach?”
My problem with the play was the script. There was not enough growth with any of the characters relationships. You never really see the relationship between the two boys, Jamie and Ste, develop. The relationship between Sandra and Tony, just seems like filler. I found myself wanting to care about the mother and her trials, but the playwright just does not give the viewers enough to take the time. The fourth wheel, Leah, played by Kiah McKirnan seems to be the least relevant character in the play but was by far the most interesting.
A play about relationships must portray them well. There is a lack of chemistry between the actors, that should have been clear to the director during rehearsals. It’s hard to love anyone on stage, because the actors seem to be lacking the love for the people they are playing.
Though the play has humour and there are moments where you want to care, it is never long enough to keep your attention till the end.
Coming to terms with ones sexuality is a journey that is hard and beautiful at the same time, which was not represented in this play. In my opinion.
Beautiful Thing with be playing at the Athenaeum Theatre till February 17th.
Click here to ticket information.