My childhood memories of moving sets, props and music incorporated in each scene were dashed and replaced with boring, mundane talk about the problems of the political and justice system in Canada.
The play Dionysus in Stony Mountain, written by directed by Bill Kerr follows the relationship of a prison psychiatrist, Heidi (Sarah Constible) and her patient, James (Ross McMillan).
The first scene is spent learning about their relationship, and the second scene is spent learning about Heidi's life outside of her job through discussions with her uncle.
The website depicts the play as "an unabashedly dense and intellectual play that explores the binding and loosening of family ties, the warehousing of the mentally ill in Canada’s prisons, mania, and the boundaries of the psychiatrist/patient relationship."
"Intellectual" seems like an understatement of what the writer and director were going for. I give mad props to the actors for being able to memorize line after line of mass amounts of dialogue. And while I thought James gave a believable performance, the dialogue between characters was not.
It felt as though I was listening conversation on Gilmore Girls, except instead of talking about relationships and love, the characters spoke of dark, politically charged, Canadian topics, complete with the over use of a thesaurus and quick speaking dialogue.
If the writer was trying to sound like he was intelligent, progressive and intellectual, then sure, he achieved it. But as for capturing the audience's attention, making the story believable and holding their interests, this is where he lacked. And that is what live theatre is all about.
Instead of making the viewer think, which is what he probably wanted, he most likely left most of them only half listening to Jame's five minute monologues on his political views. Or in my case, zoning in and out and only listening half heartedly as the characters moved from subject to subject without really absorbing what they were saying.
Over all the characters were intriguing, but the play was not, simply because the writer and director tried way to hard to sound smart and therefore it lacked an emotional connection from the viewer to the story.