Better than Average

ON AN AVERAGE DAY, written and directed by John Kolvenbach, with Jonathan Higgins and John Robinson. Presented by Rocking Chair.


ON AN AVERAGE DAY, written and directed by John Kolvenbach, with Jonathan Higgins and John Robinson. Presented by Rocking Chair Test at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse (79A St. George). Previews Saturday (July 22) at 2:30 pm, opens at 8 pm and runs to Rating: NNNNN

John Kolvenbach’s On An Average Day treads the same mythopoetic American paths forged by Sam Shepard, providing an entertaining if predictable ride.

The play is set in an unnamed small town, where estranged brothers Bobby (Jonathan Higgins) and Jack (John Robinson) reunite in the bare family kitchen with a stinky fridge, a brown paper bag and a case of beer.

Before the last beer’s been swilled, we see the full psychological effects of their father’s abandonment, which apparently explains why one of them’s currently on trial for pushing a man out of a truck.

Director Kolvenbach carefully brings out the script’s tension and subtext, not to mention its death-of-the-American-dream symbols. But do the brothers really have to be named after the Kennedys?

Higgins and Robinson contrast nicely, the one paranoid and dishevelled, the other seemingly built of brick but with a similarly hollow centre.

Shot through with dark humour, the play has problems with tone and resolution, coming very close to melodrama at the end. But it’s still an intelligent new script, which on an average day doesn’t come along too often. GS

ON AN AVERAGE DAY, written and directed by John Kolvenbach, with Jonathan Higgins and John Robinson. Presented by Rocking Chair Test at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse (79A St. George). Previews Saturday (July 22) at 2:30 pm, opens at 8 pm and runs to July 30, Tuesday-Sunday 8 pm, matinees Saturday-Sunday 2:30 pm. Pwyc-$20. 760-4100. Rating: NNN

Better than Average

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