Timothy Findley’s “The Wars”: Haunting and Impactful

The atmosphere inside the theatre is very different from what you would expect right from the beginning. For one, the curtains are open to reveal the stage and all of the set pieces already set up. About ten minutes before the show starts, the actors slowly begin to come onstage, acting as if the audience isn’t there.

There is a purpose to this, one that we discovered when we were invited to interview actor Ishan Sandhu and set designer Cecilia Vadala. (If you want to know more before seeing the show, check out our spotlight with them!) I found this to remove some of the distance between the audience and actors that can be felt when seeing live theatre making the rest of the performance that much more impactful.

If you’re looking for a fun, feel-good play, this show is not for you. It does deal with heavy themes of death in terrible circumstances but the actors do a fantastic job of helping the audience to explore those darker themes of what is right and wrong and what that means in a world where the rules don’t matter anymore. As a result, the comedic and touching moments of the play are made all the better (and the funny parts really do make you laugh).

I had thought at first that I was a little disappointed that there were a few moments where I couldn’t hear the dialogue particularly well but it is understandable due to the fact that a large number of the sound effects are performed onstage. It was one of my favourite choices in the design of the show so I would happily miss a few words for that.

Overall, I enjoyed the performance and I would recommend everyone go see it. The run ends Saturday, November 23rd so there is still some time to check this great show out!

Additionally, for those who would like a more in depth discussion of the show, playwright Dennis Garnhum will be present for the November 16th performance and will be holding a talk-back along with the actors after the show. This is definitely an experience not to be missed!

Tickets and more information can be found on the UBC Theatre Facebook page.

Review By Nicole Andrews | Photo by Coral Santana

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