Eastern Front Theatre & HomeFirst Productions presents REFUGE

By Mary Vingoe
Presented by Eastern Front Theatre & HomeFirst Productions

Reviewed by Ekaterina Sushko
(October 2nd performance)

Intense silence. Lights off.

The audience holds their breath foretasting the action.

The setting is simple: Stairs, a small dais on the right and…nothing else so far. Six actors are standing motionless, upstairs, in different postures.

Then the play starts leading spectators through the story as if it set in a dark park: Floodlights illuminate different parts of the stage at different moments to reveal separate parts of the narrative. Our goal is to find a connection between these fragments.

As the play goes on, tracing connection becomes more and more interesting. “What happened? What happened?”… This question keeps emerging in everyone’s head.

The story uncovers important immigration issues and difficulties unknown to most Canadians. The accents, the dress and the manners of the characters are very natural: The diverse background of the actors make the play especially real.

The denouement is totally unexpected and finally all of the pieces tie together—you finally realize what happened. The ending is powerful and shows how indifferent we sometimes are and how little attention we pay to people who live so close to us.

This is definitely one of those plays that give you something to think about. It raises important issues while offering funny moments in between. Six actors and a simple setting create a very powerful emotion, evoke sympathy and make the audience think what life is like for an immigrant coping with difficult circumstances.

Until October 6th, 2013
Neptune Studio Theatre

Catherine Sushko is living in Halifax for three years while studying at Saint Mary’s University. In her free time, she teaches belly dancing, sings in choirs, and writes music and artistic reviews, experiencing all kinds of cultures that can be met in Canada.

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