by Paula Citron.
A chimera is a hybrid that contains cells from two different species. Chimera is also the title of Wendy Lill’s new play at the Tarragon. At the heart is the thorny issue of human stem cells being transplanted into Rebus monkeys for research purposes.
Will has populated her play with an assortment of characters who stand on all sides of the matter. There is an opposition evangelical member of parliament versus an inexperienced Minister of Justice. There is a reporter out for the jugular, a ruthless PR lobbyist, not to mention the scientist in question and the party line ministerial aide.
The cast is strong and engage in an spirited discussion on the issue. Unfortunately, if one approves of stem cell research, there is no conflict for the audience. Nonetheless, the play is ambitious in tackling a hot button topic. The play falters in the end when Lill drifts off into maudlin personal issues.
Chimera continues until Feb. 11.
From the Tarragon Theatre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.