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This review includes two productions To Kill a Mockingbird: “Nigel Shawn Williams makes an impressive debut as a Stratford director…” and Long Day’s Journey Into Night: “Seana McKenna as mother Mary falls into some familiar rhythms when admonishing her menfolk in the earlier scenes but her last speech, reverting to convent girlhood, is transcendent.”
“The real strength in this production comes from Gordon S. Miller as Jamie and Charlie Gallant as Edmund. Miller’s acting has gone from strength to strength over his seasons at the Festival and his portrayal of Jamie is his greatest performance yet… Gallant, who has been so impressive in his past seasons at the Shaw Festival, gives what is so far his strongest, most complex performance ever as Edmund.”
“Mary (Seana McKenna delivering one of her finest performances ever, which really is saying a lot), recently back to the family home following yet another attempt in a sanatorium to unhook her from morphine, is soon back to her long stints in the guest room—shooting up as a means to drown out the misery of all that surrounds her.”
“The pairing of Scott Wentworth and Seana McKenna as the heads of the Tyrone family is ingenious…Potter’s interpretation digs into O’Neill’s signature verbal barbs (“Maybe you can sweat some of the booze fat off your middle,” James says to Jamie as they head outside) and 180-degree emotional turns.”
“Seana McKenna’s striking portrayal of Mary Tyrone is devastating…Mr. Wentworth is captivating as James…Audience members may not walk out of this play feeling ‘good’, but they will certainly feel ‘moved’, and perhaps compelled to further examine the more complicated relationships in their own lives.”
“On the whole, Potter’s production in the very intimate Studio Theatre errs on the safe side… I longed for a moment or two of directorial daring or deconstruction – but it’s true that all these particular performers need is an arena to strut their stuff.” Full Review for Globe and Mail Subscribers only
“Long Day’s Journey into Night is a study in anxiety and addiction with the accompanying delusion, denial and depression, wrapped up inside a dysfunctional family…
This cast acts with such conviction and realism that it made me feel uncomfortable. I was watching a family disintegrate before my eyes, and what they were all going through was so personal. But that discomfort is a testament to the superior acting in this play.”