reviewed by Paula Citron
Theatre Passe Muraille/Nightswimming
Written by Judith Thompson
Directed by Brian Quirt
Starring Maria Vacratsis and Michaela Washburn
At Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace until Feb. 6
Judith Thompson’s newest play Such Creatures is curiously dissatisfying.
Thompson was inspired by teenage stories of courage against terrible odds. The play’s structure is interlocking, but unrelated monologues. Blandy is a young native girl, the product of a dysfunctional home who is caught up in Toronto’s gang culture. The older Jewish woman Sorele was a teenager in a death camp during the Holocaust.
Thompson tries to show the similarities between these girls in their fight for survival, but they are not an even match. Blandy is alive with freshness because her life is now. Sorele is all about remembrance which gives an entirely different sensibility to her words. Had Thompson made Sorele a teenager telling her story, that would have made a better play.
Maria Vacratsis as Sorele, and particularly newcomer Michaela Washburn as Blandy, give moving performances, effectively directed by Brian Quirt, but the difference in age blunts the purpose.
Such Creatures continues at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace until Feb. 6.