The Arts

Tarragon Theatre/Bent Out of Shape Productions – The Drowning Girls

Tarragon Theatre/Bent Out of Shape Productions – The Drowning Girls featured image

reviewed by Paula Citron
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The Drowning Girls
Tarragon Theatre/Bent Out of Shape Productions
Written by Beth Graham, Daniela Vlaskalic and Charlie Tomlinson
Directed by Tomlinson
Starring Natascha Girgis, Graham and Vlaskalic
At Tarragon Theatre Extra Space

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The Drowning Girls at the Tarragon is imaginatively conceived, well-acted and beautifully designed. The one problem is a weak script.

Writers Beth Graham, Daniela Vlaskalic and Charlie Tomlinson were inspired by real-life Edwardian murderer George Joseph Smith who drowned three of his wives in the bathtub to inherit their money. The wives are portrayed as vulnerable spinsters who jumped at the chance for romance.

The Drowning Girls stars Graham, Vlaskalic and Natascha Girgis as the wives with Tomlinson directing. Bretta Gerecke’s set includes three water-filled bathtubs on a tile floor. The talented actors literally play their scenes in, out and all-around the tubs, appearing first in their bustiers and pantaloons, and later in their wedding dresses. The stage choreography is just wonderful.

Unfortunately, there is no tension. We know what happens to these women from the very beginning and so the play loses interest quite quickly, despite the innovative staging.

The Drowning Girls continues at Tarragon Theatre Extra Space until Nov. 15.

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