Who is Becky Shaw? What thoughts run through her pretty little head and what future awaits her? These are just a few of the questions that prompted an interesting discussion on the walk home from this thought provoking production; a dialogue that examined and attempted to explain various aspects of the story and included ponderings over events and unanswered questions. ‘Becky Shaw’ is the type of play that leaves you feeling intrigued and inquisitive…and isn’t that ultimately the most interesting outcome of theatre?
A compelling character from the start, Becky Shaw is clearly very complicated and conflicted- notions which slowly reveal themselves as the story unfolds. In fact every character in this show has cause for concern- all are deeply flawed and, in varying degrees, extremely infuriating. Becky acts as the catalyst in bringing forth all their underlying problems to light; long-held deep rooted issues and insecurities emerge and converge into long overdue conversations and confrontations.
I have not heard such a poignant, lewd and hilarious script in awhile. The words and phrases utilized, expressed perfectly in pace, felt relatable and real yet conscientiously crafted, striking a perfect balance of sentimentality and artistically entertaining insanity. The theatre in the round configuration generates a fly on the wall atmosphere, perhaps lessening the dramatic stakes unfolding before you but heightening the sympathetic human hardships undergone by all.
Each character is portrayed beautifully by the talented actors, who exhibit honest and heartfelt moments through a fantastically humorous script. You are conversely plagued with feelings of pity and frustration for each- torn between empathy and annoyance at their inability to see themselves clearly. Each is in denial about various facets of their pasts and present and must shatter this semblance of reality to experience the truth.
‘Sometimes lying is the most humane thing you can do…’ but how long are you willing to lie to yourself?
Disclaimer: As a theatre blogger for GVPTA, my ticket was provided free of charge to this production. That being said, opinions and statements made are my own. This is not a review, but a post meant to promote discussion within the Vancouver Theatre Community. GVPTA supports its member companies.