PPPEEEAAACCCEEE written and directed by Darren O'Donnell with Rebecca Picherack, with Greg MacArthur, Ngozi Paul and Maiko Bae Yamamoto. Presented by Theatre Passe Muraille and Mammalian Diving Reflex at Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson). Runs to October 10, Tuesday-Saturday 8 pm, matinee Sunday 2:30 pm. $23-$32, Sunday pwyc-$16. 416-504-7529. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Don't look for a traditional play in pppeeeaaaccceee . Instead, it's an hour-long meditation on our world and what it might be, the kind of conversation you'd have with friends after a pleasant dinner party, with everyone a little stoned and mellow.
The result is sometimes profound, more often a meandering association of ideas that'll work if you give in to it.
Writer/director (with Rebecca Picherack ) Darren O'Donnell intentionally breaks the theatrical mode, too, by having his trio of actors address us directly before becoming three people who live in a post-revolutionary time. The specifics of the revolution aren't stated, though all three seem generally more contented than they were before.
The writing is whimsical and funny, a fanciful leapfrogging of thoughts expressed in conundrums, pithy aphorisms and wordplay to look at subjects as diverse as relationships, the economy, sex and the function of clapping.
Intellectual and occasionally emotional, the production effectively incorporates ritualistic movement and verbal repetition. At one level it's a philosophical, ultimately optimistic Möbius strip. There's also a bit of tongue-in-cheek absurdity about what goes on.
In Picherack's atmospheric lighting, the actors ( Greg MacArthur , Ngozi Paul and Maiko Bae Yamamoto ) make up a committed, well-drilled unit who nonetheless relate to each other in a spontaneous, poignant fashion. Thoughtful and theatrical.