I walked out of this play with such an elated, stunned feeling that was entirely derived from such an incredible piece of theatre. I was proud, humbled and awe struck all at once, my love for theatre vindicated and feeling fortunate to have been a part of this experience. Terminus is, simply, extraordinary.
The story follows three different characters through a particularly disturbing night in Dublin. The play is dark, humorous, touching and evocative. The writing is breathtakingly beautiful, flowing and smooth, and expertly uses the interwoven mechanism of rhyming couplets.
The acting in addition, blew me away, especially the wonderful and talented John Emmet Tracy. How the actors were able to memorize numerous 10 minute long monologues is beyond me! Oh yes- by the way, the entire script is written in alternating lengthy solo segments- every actor’s worst nightmare…
You almost forget where you are at times, being so enraptured with the story. I’ve never seen a play like it. The writing, the acting, and the set combine together with a dreadful power to transport you to another city and in fact, another world. At one point, a particularly gruesome scene was being described and I actually saw audience members scrunch up their faces and turn away from the actor- as if you could actually see what the character was describing!
I truly feel that this is a real gem of a play, something we perhaps don’t get to see too often in the Vancouver Theatre scene. I myself am a huge fan of Irish Theatre, having lived in Dublin and worked for The Abbey Theatre for the past three years. It was therefore such a joy for me to see this production, which incidentally had its world premiere in The Abbey in 2007 (and where I met its author!), and so I feel somewhat of an attachment and affection towards the play.
I think that is one of the joys of international theatre-besides being exposed to an artistic expression of foreign culture, which you might otherwise never have the chance to see- to be given the opportunity to connect with and explore a play’s origins, setting, characters and script; it’s something expats and artists alike thrive on, appreciating both the familiar and the complete unknown, and enjoying the journey regardless.
*Terminus plays at Performance Works on Granville island until March 17th*