The Arts

Blyth Festival 2009 – Michael Healey’s The Nuttalls

Blyth Festival 2009 – Michael Healey’s The Nuttalls featured image

reviewed by Paula Citron
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The Nuttalls
Blyth Festival
Written by Michael Healey
Directed by Kate Lynch
Starring Catherine Fitch, Gil Garratt and Claire Burns
At the Blyth Memorial Hall in Blyth ON until Sept. 5

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Sometimes all the talent in the world can’t save a bad play. There were high expectations for Michael Healey’s new play for the Blyth Festival. He is, after all, a Governor-General Award winner. The Nuttalls, unfortunately, is just plain drivel.

The play starts off with high hopes. During the hilarious, silent opening sequences, we meet Catherine Fitch as Ev in her pink leisurewear suit and bad perm, and her long haired, dead-beat slob of son Ec played by Gil Garratt. Ev owns a shabby lake resort called Nuttalls Confederation Cabins with every cabin named after a prime minister. For example, in Sir John A, the mini bar is free.

When such strong characters are established, the plot has to match, and this, unfortunately, does not happen. It’s downhill from there despite strong performances from the cast and director Kate Lynch. The frantic farcical action is marred by a weak and confused script.

The Nuttalls continues at the Blyth Festival until Sept. 5.

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