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“Director Dean Gabourie is very decorous about the physicality of Elora’s disability…this decorousness extends to the ideological conflict and its character-driven underpinnings…the actual language of the play touches very lightly on what Julian sees in Elora, or how Elora feels about playing this rather obvious part in his personal psychodrama.”
“Peacock’s frank, funny, unsentimental portrayal…is the one true thrill in Thompson’s otherwise problematic play…Bennett’s Julian is harder to like and he treats Elora with an air of gentle condescension even in his love scenes. You can never really believe that he is besotted with her.”
Reid calls Peacock “engaging, compelling and profoundly human” and Collins “heartrending”. He states Bennett performs “in his most significant festival role to date” and “Persichini balances compassion and strength with vulnerability.” Crew notes “the play draws audiences into the discussion.”
“…while nobody involved in the process is totally blameless, the bulk of the shame rests with the author… considering the high quality of work Peacock has been turning out in recent years — the blame must be laid on a script that leaves her with too many holes to paper over through over-energetic acting.”
Godfrey applauds Peacock’s performance which “brings new poignancy to Elora’s words that anyone can become disabled, though birth or by accident.” She notes the play will ” give audience members absolutely no excuse to ever make judgements again about what anyone with a disability can or cannot do”.
O’Connor states “Peacock has chalked up yet another outstanding performance” and “Persichini’s Francis is patient, protective and tender”. He calls Collins’ performance “no less than brilliant” and Bennett’s “interestingly developed” O’Connor takes note of the minimalist set designed by Sharp.
“… the relationship between Elora and Julian rises and falls at an incredibly fast pace, and both Francis and Hannah don’t appear to have much purpose…Yet despite a somewhat clumsy text, I found myself in tears by the end of the play.”
“All the while, with sensitivity and even much-needed splashes of humour, she artfully touches on her physical frailties – the bodily motions that define her presence, yet fail to dampen her seemingly bottomless well of spirit and fight. While she may be trapped within the confines of a declining vessel, her mental capacity never appears to be diminished.”
Slotkin explains “the play is frustrating because Thompson hasn’t explored any of these ideas fully or deeply. She talks around issues which is not the same as dealing with them.” She gives kudos to “the strong cast” and director Gabourie who “moves the proceedings efficiently.”
Donnelly calls “The Merchant of Venice” “one of the three must-sees” this season, but found “The Thrill” “is a letdown.” He believes “Waiting for Godot” is “ideally cast” and “Taking Shakespeare” matches well with “Othello”.