A DARING DRAMA
Creationists and scientists—go on and take a guess who dislikes the convictions of the other more.
Maybe if there was a consensus that a Grand Creator knew a thing or two about science or that its completely conceivable that all living things came out of something relative to a big bang they might just all get along in perfect harmony.
Until then, playwright Adam Seybold weighs in on the matter with theatrical excellence recounting history’s faithful inquisitor Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (Cyrus Lane) who asked big questions about human evolution and how all the puzzle pieces fit together without ever calling into question the validity of a master plan.
Exiled for his actions, the narrative excavation looks at the Jesuit Priest’s discoveries as a man of both faith and science. The daring drama doesn’t have any cheerful moments but rather digs deep to unearth the uncomfortable situations that the rock and bones aficionado found himself in throughout his life-long pursuits.
The play is a blessing in disguise due to the fact it creates a dialogue about the beliefs of a man who ‘set fire to the foundation of the church’ in a search for truth. Never does it get overtly preachy on either side of the debate but rather lets audience marvel at the bravery of individual thinking.
Cyrus Lane gives a perfect performance as the ‘strange priest’ whose scriptural loyalty is never compromised by archeological evidence that surrounds him. You don’t question is passion or position; you only want to observe more of Pierre’s thought process to see where it leads.
Morphing into more than half a dozen characters in the expanding story, what a crowning achievement to see Maev Beaty like you’ve not seen her before. Her classic story credits in Stratford are notable with contemporary theatre clearly being her calling leaving this role polished to a shine.
But it’s director Alan Dilworth who earns the title of miracle worker in The De Chardin Project. Not only does he ensure the casted duo are everywhere the need to be in a mysterious cubed environment but the lighting and sound supremacy that’s established in the presentation is more impressive than splitting an atom.
Review by Steven Berketo
THE DE CHARDIN PROJECT by Adam Seybold Nov. 20 – Dec. 14, 2014 THEATRE PASSE MURAILLE, 16 Ryerson Ave., Toronto TICKETS $17.00-$38.00 www.passemuraille.ca 416-504-7529 CAST Maev Beaty and Cyrus Lane DIRECTOR Alan Dilworth SET & LIGHTING Lorenzo Savoini SOUND DESIGN Thomas Ryder Payne STAGE MANAGER Sarah Miller