Drama about two grief-stricken families is earnest, stilted and more scattered than suggestive
MOURNING AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE by Chloë Whitehorn (Mad River Theatre/Fringe). At the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse. Jul 13 at 10:15 pm, Jul 14 at 5:45 pm. See listing. Rating: NN
Two families who have both suffered a terrible loss find their lives intersecting in Chloë Whitehorn‘s earnest, stilted drama.
In the first scene, late teen Pippa (Brianna Richer) talks about drowning, which she says isn’t a metaphor. Soon, she’s seen moving with her parents Lucy (Mary Wall) and Drew (Dave Martin) to a home by the water neighbour Everett (Jack Morton), who’s lost his mother and is living with his aunt, Fenwick (Loriel Medynski), strikes up a friendship with Pippa. But Lucy seems drawn to him, too. So perhaps… Pippa is Lucy, or vice versa?
Whitehorn and director Heather Keith seem to want to say something about the fluidity of identity. But both the story and tone of the play are more scattered than suggestive. And the dialogue is either arch (“As am I,” says Everett, something nobody would ever speak out loud), repetitively sarcastic or straining to be poetic.