Nightwood Theatre/CanStage 2008
Adapted by Anne Hardcastle from the novel by Helen Humphreys
Directed by Kelly Thornton
Starring Tamara Podemski, Raven Dauda, Les Carlson, Steve Cumyn, Stephen Joffe, Tony Nappo and Taylor Trowbridge
At Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs until Nov. 8
Helen Humphreys celebrated 2005 novel Wild Dogs does not really work as a play. The adaptation by actor/teacher Anne Hardcastle comprises of a series of monologues which means an absence of face to face conflict.
At twilight, a disparate group of people go to the edge of the woods to call back their dogs who have become part of a wild pack. Each dog was banished by others and these damaged people want their pets back. The metaphor lies in the bonds these characters form with each other, particularly the lesbian romance between Alice and Rachel.
Humphreys writes in heightened poetic language, much of which Hardcastle has retained. Unfortunately, when spoken within the context of theatre, Humphreys imaginative turn of phrase sounds arch and precious.
Director Kelly Thornton has a good cast, but though they all try hard, in the end, the characters remain all on one level.
Wild Dogs continues at Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs until Nov. 8.