by Paula Citron
George Walker is an original. His portrayal of Toronto’s mean streets has created a canon of work that has taken his plays all over the world and into a multitude of languages. His universality is that people anywhere can relate to his dysfunctional characters and their dire situations.
Better Living is set four years earlier than Escape From Happiness whose revival was a huge hit last year. The two plays will be running in repertoire during the Luminato Festival which doubles the pleasure of experiencing this bizarre East End family.
Better Living boasts a superb cast. There is not a weak link as we follow the matriarch Nora, played deliciously by Clare Coulter, her three daughters, her priest bother, one of the daughter’s boyfriend, and Nora’s runaway husband through their hilarious and disturbing travails.
It is heady theatre that is at once satire, social commentary, and prophetic vision, and is not to be missed.
Better Living continues until Jul. 1.
From Factory Theatre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.