by Paula Citron.
Written by David French
Directed by Ted Dykstra
Starring Jeff Lillico and Krystin Pellerin
At the Young Centre until Jan. 31
David French’s classic 1985 play Salt-Water Moon contains the beautiful natural poetry of the Newfoundlanders. I’ve never seen a bad production of the play, and Soulpepper’s effort is right up there.
There is a tinge of melancholy about this young man of 18 courting this young girl of 17 in 1926, because the two grow up to be the battling Mercers, Jacob and Mary, and their dysfunctional family, whom we meet in French’s other plays when they’ve moved to Toronto from the Rock. Director Ted Dykstra seems to understand what is coming as he highlights the destructive strengths and weaknesses of Jacob Mercer, played by Jeff Lillico, and Mary Snow, played by Krystin Pellerin.
Lillico is magnificent, although he does tend to use the same cadence all the time. Pellerin has the character nailed but garbles her words. That being said, their chemistry makes for an absorbing performance.
Salt-Water Moon continues at the Young Centre until Jan. 31.