A Russian In LangleyWednesday, August 10, 2011
A Guest Blog by John Lekich
|Willa-Lee Reed, Paricia Trinh, Jamie Taylor & David Lloyd|
A Russian in Langley by John Lekich
When Alex asked me if I felt like seeing a little Chekov, I thought he might be talking about the guy who helped steer the spaceship on Star Trek. He was actually referring Three Sisters in Langley. A new adaptation of Anton Chekov’s Three Sisters by writer-director Bronwen Marsden. Since even a smattering of Chekov is mounted on local stages about as often as a solar eclipse, I was more than happy to attend a recent rehearsal. I’m glad I did.
Marsden is part of a troupe of Vancouver-based actors known as Button String Theatre. Along with co-creator Jamie Taylor, Marsden formed the company to put a fresh spin on classic theatre. Her play is a about a young troupe of actors struggling to advance beyond community theatre while figuring out a novel way to adapt Three Sisters for a contemporary audience. They try everything from turning it into a musical to donning red clown noses. In the process, we’re treated to a inside look at the egos and infighting that go on behind the scenes.
|Jamie Taylor (left) and Bronwen Marsden|
The versatile cast – Willa-Lee Reid, Patricia Trinh, David Lloyd and co-producer Jamie Taylor – handle Chekovian text with ease. As a bonus, they sing, dance (and bicker) like they’ve been performing together for months. Ever wonder what it’s like to perform in an amateur theatre company? Marsden’s play offers a funny, clever and – sometimes withering - look at pretention, ambition and creative sacrifice. It’s on at Havana (1212 Commercial Drive) from August 11-14. It’s well worth a look.
Addendum: For those who might look closely at the director/producer's chest you might notice something odd. I was not able to prevent this from happening when I scanned my b+w negative. The scanner is reacting to the fine vertical ribbing of Marsden's blouse which is not quite parallel to the sweep of the scanner's CCDs. The pattern on Marsden's chest is called a moiré pattern. In physics, a moiré pattern is an interference pattern created, for example, when two grids are overlaid at an angle, or when they have slightly different mesh sizes. AWH