Jan. 30, 2013 - Issue #902: Come cry with Daniel Romano
Good morning stranger
Ride navigates the aftermath of a one-night stand
"They're trying to piece together how they got there and the events that led up to that," states Cole Humeny, the male half of Northern Light Theatre's two-hander, Ride. "Diving into it a bit deeper, you find out that they're just two really lonely, kind of broken people in search of comfort, and it just led to each others' arms."
Ride is the second play of Northern Light Theatre's season, which opened in November with the quirky 6.0: How Heap and Pebble took on the World and Won. Northern Light's artistic director, Trevor Schmidt, has a reputation for fishing out little-known scripts and bringing them to Edmonton stages.
"Trevor digs deep—I have no idea where he finds a lot of the plays that he puts on," says Sereana Malani, the show's female half. "How does he find anything?" Humeny adds. "He finds obscure pieces that nobody's ever heard of."
Like Heap and Pebble, this is the Canadian debut of Ride. The playwright, Jane Bodie, is well-known in her country of residence, Australia, but hasn't had much exposure in North America. Prior to this production, the show was mainly staged throughout Australia as well as one off-Broadway production.
Taking place entirely in the man's bedroom, Ride takes the usual conventions of the one-night stand and turns them on their head: while you would expect people in that situation to bid each other a hasty adieu, in this case, some intangible force keeps the two of them together in that room.
"The first reading, I thought, 'What's going on? Nothing is really happening,'" Humeny states. "Except when you dig a little deeper you'll see that it's more to do with what's not being said, or why isn't she leaving, or why isn't he asking her to leave."
"There she is, prepared to do a very fantastic walk of shame," Malani says. "In her maid-of-honour dress from the night before, and she's lost her bra, has only one shoe."
"It stretches the one-night stand into the whole next day," Humeny explains. "They spend the whole next day together; she finally leaves around 10pm."
Though the situation certainly sounds rather dark (not to mention deeply awkward), the actors note that it's not wholly serious throughout.
"I have been very pleasantly surprised to see how many opportunities for comedy are available in this script," Malani states. "I don't know if I would say it's straight-up comedy; it's mostly the situational aspects that are so ridiculous that you can't help but laugh. But there are also seriously dark undertones."
"What's great is that the show isn't cheery—it doesn't leave you feeling like, 'Aww, they found each other! They're gonna fall in love and get married,'" Humeny states. "It leaves you thinking, perhaps that's all they needed, that one night together, and now they can move on."
"It starts off asking how did they get there, and then it turns into why did they stay?" Malani continues. "And the bigger question: why do we need each other?"
Fri, Feb 1 – Sat, Feb 9
(7:30 pm; 11:30 pm on Fri, Feb 8)
Directed by Trevor Schmidt
TransAlta Arts Barns (PCL Studio), $21 – $28 vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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