Tightly Crafted and Anti-Climactic
To suggest that relationships are a complex entity would be a gross understatement. They’re often powered by competing motivational factors, they’re rarely predictable and—just like snowflakes—no two are ever the same. And when director Karen Hines opens this tantalizing memory play with The Pixies’ ‘Where Is My Mind,’ you just know a stylish, provocative story is on the horizon.
So is it any surprise that the crisp presentation, Heaven Above Heaven Below finds itself in Theatre Passe Muraille’s Backspace which undoubtedly has a creative license to host the dramatically uncommon? Not at all.
We never know the names of the man and woman who enter a mini-bar stocked hotel room following a wedding event. Yet their complete romance back-story is detailed when a musician and writer at similar points in life connected 20 years earlier for a short lived affair that produced an unwanted pregnancy.
“You didn’t even like me, asserts He. “But I would have loved you,” responds She.
Her boyfriend is not present on this evening; his wife and child are sleeping in a separate room. Booze will be consumed, narcotics will be ingested, politics will be rehashed and sex is most certainly an inescapable reality.
An 80 minute two-hander characterized by adhesive naturalistic dialogue Heaven Above Heaven Below doesn’t ask its audiences to follow along yet it freely does so anyway out of an innate desire to inspect the past.
The hard lesson learned is that paramours find themselves in a particular place because of the critical decisions that were once made for better or for worse. Linda Griffiths tightly crafted and anti-climactic narrative goes on to suggest that some of us carry scarring long after the emotion subsides.
Review by Steven Berketo
HEAVEN ABOVE HEAVEN BELOW by Linda Griffiths Nov. 4 – Dec. 7, 2013
TPM Backspace 16 Ryerson Ave., Toronto
Tickets $15.00 – $27.50 416-504-7529 www.passemuraille.on.ca
CAST Linda Griffiths, Layne Coleman
DIRECTOR Karen Hines