By Robyn Beazley | 98.9 myFM
When you first walk into the theatre at Lighthouse Festival to see Bed and Breakfast, written by Mark Crawford and directed by Stewart Arnott, you are greeted by a very simple, uncomplicated, barely even 3-dimensional set.
But from the moment the lights go up it is clear:
This play is anything but simple or uncomplicated! And the actors are as multi-dimensional as the characters they play throughout this story, which tells a tale of two gay men who make a big move from the big city to a small town and face some big challenges along the way.
The two actors not only play the stars of the show (Brett and Drew), but every single other character. They are given no props, no downtime aside from intermission, and no break in their stride while flipping through their versions of all the characters we encounter in this story – aside from the brief pauses for uproarious laughter and other audience reactions.
This play is filled with stories that many of us can relate to – sudden life changes, big decisions, the importance of community and belonging and of pulling together, how feeling “different” or “outcast” cuts deep, making new friends and meaningful connections, deep dark family secrets, how sometimes the things we WANT are not the things we NEED, and of course – the struggles too many face being “out of the closet” and simply living their lives, and loving whom they love.
This play is hilarious but make no mistake- it is also a cautionary tale of how actions taken and words spoken by closed minds can have very real consequences for those at whom the vitriol is aimed at.
Throughout the story we see how shame in general weighs heavy, how it influences big, life-changing decisions, which has ripple effects. And how secrets can only stay in the closet for so long before the door opens, and they come tumbling out.
The fact that the playwright and these two actors can pack all of that into two acts is astounding – and you will leave the theatre reeling – not only from the character changes, plot twists, revelations and realities – but from the sense of being surrounded by an audience who would make GREAT neighbours for anyone living in or moving to our community who are “out of the closet”… Or for those who, for now, still feel safer in it.
If you were on the fence as to whether you should attend this performance – my answer is a resounding YES!
I wouldn’t bring the younger kids though- not because they shouldn’t be exposed to a variety of types of relationships, and stories of acceptance and inclusion… But because some of the language and innuendos (and some not-so-innuendos) are a bit much for young ears! Leave your clutching-pearls at home for this one!
As always, the Opening Night festivities were followed by champagne, music by Jesse Murphy and Ian Brammall, and a delicious spread by Debbie Moffat Catering as everyone celebrated the start to another great show at Lighthouse Festival and congratulated the cast and crew on yet another amazing night at our local professional theatre!
In a nutshell this play is ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS (flaps a floppy wrist), and a must see… Don’t sleep on Bed & Breakfast – running in Port Dover until July 15th!