review by CANDACE WU
The Long Weekend will have you laughing out loud.
The Bard to Broadway production captures everything about dysfunctional relationships — both in terms of childhood friendships and marriage.
While it is mostly about breaking up, infidelity and friendships plagued with jealousy and judgment, the script is witty, laughable and remarkably relateable for anybody who’s been in a relationship after the "honeymoon phase" has long ended.
Canadian playwright Norm Foster's take on disposable marriages and lackluster relationships paired with longtime Qualicum Beach director Eileen Butts' flawless theatrical style makes this play an absolute must-see.
Foster's script is full of twists, ridiculous antics and amusing one-liners. Even the last scene throws you for a loop. But don't worry, no spoilers here — you'll have to see it for yourself. The Long Weekend reflects classic Broadway-style theatre containing just enough sexual innuendoes, ludicrous conversation and outrageous plots twists to keep the audience laughing throughout the entire evening.
Relationship therapist Wynn (Rosalee Sullivan) and lawyer Max Trueman (Jay Norton) host their friends, clothing store owner Abby (Jody Tkach) and math-teacher-turned-screenwriter Roger Nash (Doug Fisher), at their "quaint" five-bedroom country retreat. You know the type — predictably decorated in Ikea's most common designer living room set, complete with coasters and table books not really meant for reading nestled somewhere in Ontario's cottage country.
The two women are longtime girlfriends meaning they have lots of baggage and plenty of issues that have been quietly swept under the rug over the years. However, the weekend brings out some deep-seeded animosity—like Wynn's insecurity that Abby is always judging her style and Abby's insecurity that Wynn is always dissecting her relationship.
The weekend doesn't go exactly as planned and before long the couples are fighting with each other and one another. Awful things are said. Snide comments are made. An anecdote about a never-paid-back $23 bill is reiterated, a lot.
The all-star cast boasts extensive on-stage experience and all actors delivered quality performances. Sullivan's depiction of a high-strung, too-smart-for-her-own-good therapist was impeccable and her tense dynamic with Nash was consistent throughout the two-act play. Everything, it seemed, was a source of contention between the two women who perfectly expressed the underlying competitive nature of female friendships.
Moreover, Norton — a familiar face in community theatre — did a phenomenal job portraying his self-serving, hyper pretentious, culture-conscious character. Fisher, his anti-thesis, did a fine job personifying a struggling writer on the brink of a mental breakdown.
It all happens on Tracy Unger's creatively designed set, which almost leaves the audience craving a weekend away despite all the in-fighting, and you know, broken relationships. This is one of those plays that goes by so fast — thanks to a well-written script, superb direction and exceptional actors — that you find yourself wishing the weekend was just a little bit longer.
The Long Weekend continues at the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach until August 13. Tickets are $24 for adults, $22 for seniors and students and $11 for children, available at the box office: 110 West Second Ave. Call 250-752-4470 to book tickets or to find out office hours. For more information visit www.b2btheatre.com.