Metro Theatre’s latest production Theft, another work by British Playwright Eric Chappell (the second this year for Metro), gets off to a slow start but is saved in act two by a quicker pace and a cast that finds their groove.
John and Barbara Miles (Gerard Ponsford and Chris McBeath) return to their country home after a night out celebrating their anniversary with friends Trevor and Jenny Farrington (Luke Day and Rosalyn Winther) only to discover their home has been burglarized. One of the burglars, Spriggs (Tom Kavadias) is soon discovered still inside the house and begins to wreak havoc on their seemingly happy marriages and friendship.
Perhaps it was opening night jitters but Chappell’s script, which requires a rapid fire delivery of lines and near perfect timing, appears to have gotten the best of some of the cast here, especially in act one. Struggling to remember lines doesn’t help either especially in those crucial opening scenes where Chappell introduces us to his characters, sets up the premise and demands that we, the audience, suspend our beliefs even more than usual for the improbabilities that are about to transpire.
Fortunately though, the cast did a much a better job with act two, allowing us to revel in the absurdities of Chappell’s script and the relationships that are hacked to pieces by the end of the show. And where Kavadias struggled with his lines in act one, he is a changed man in the second half delivering a delightfully devilish burglar who takes great joy in not only rooting through people’s things but their lives as well. In fact, the whole cast was transported to a different level in act two as a result.
As I have come to expect from Metro, the set design for this show, by Ryan Wish this time, is second-to-none. The attention to detail and craftsmanship here is simply wonderful.
Lighting was adequate although flickering lights and huge hot spot stage left were a little distracting. I’m not sure what is about the house lights at the Metro but if memory serves me right they have experienced issues with them now for the last three shows.
Now where did I leave my copy of The Ref?
Tickets $15/$18 and may be obtained by calling the Metro box office at 604 266-7191. Visit http://www.metrotheatre.org for more information.