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Great acting, crisp writing and direction
Henry Lane struggles with metaphors. Meaningful communication with his wife of 25 years isn’t his strong suit either.
Alice Lane has a plan, a weekend in a fancy hotel to rejuvenate the couple’s sex life, a chance to bring some spark back into their union, is just the ticket.
Or so she thinks.
Sexy Laundry, now playing at the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach, has everything you want in a drama — and perhaps some things you would rather not hear or see, thank you very much.
It’s dialogue heavy, which puts a burden on the only two actors involved in the production, a task Rosalee Sullivan (Alice) and David Bigelow (Henry) handled Wednesday night with aplomb.
The writing (Michele Rimi) is crisp and director Norman Browning hasn’t allowed for many breaths between rants, which moves the play along quickly and keeps the audience’s attention.
As any good play should, Sexy Laundry touches on enough feelings, enough incidents of life, to touch everyone in the audience. You don’t have to have been married for 25 years to relate to some of the stuff Rimi has written here. And much of the stuff one might not have experience with is downright funny.
This is a comedy, clearly. Perhaps that’s the best way to handle the angst of a waning marriage. It’s also a good way to convey the frustration and regrets associated with aging, which this play is truly all about — a marriage on the rocks being a convenient sub plot to carry this theme.
There are times in this play where you can appreciate, and admire, all the work Browning, Sullivan and Bigelow have put in before the lights come on in this quaint, perfect little theatre. Sullivan’s Alice has a soliloquy to end the first act that rivals any you will see in any production this year — it’s a fast-paced, poignant, word-picture-creating speech sprinkled with athleticism and ending with a figurative and literal bang — a don’t-miss-it piece of theatre.
Yes, there is sex. Well, not actual nudity, but it’s an underlying theme until one figures out the plot is much deeper. And there is some racy language, not enough to offend this writer, but my offence-metre is set pretty high.
Above all, there are words, great lines delivered with superb diction and timing.
“Couldn’t you just have a regular fantasy?” Bigelow, as Henry, asks.
Or there’s this from Sullivan’s Alice: “I can be comfortable with a dog — comfortable is not passionate.”
There’s a brief episode where one might ask if one really wants to pay to watch a couple argue, but it passes and is overshadowed by the sharp writing and excellent performances of Sullivan and Bigelow. This is a play with some levels, a ride about a couple that turns the focus to the individuals, and then back to the couple.
All in all, a fun romp with serious themes that are made more comfortable to deal with through humour and great delivery.
The Bard to Broadway Theatre Society’s production of Sexy Laundry runs until August 13. Check www.b2btheatre.com for specific dates and times.