nowHere by Emily Hurson, directed by Cathy Gordon, with Hurson and Ryan McVittie. Presented by lean mad sam and the Fringe at the Helen Gardiner Phelan. July 5-12. $8. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Forget about the idea of a library as a "Quiet, please" zone where the only interactions are with books. In Emily Hurson 's tantalizing two-hander, nowHere , a chance encounter proves a lyrical, touching experience for two troubled people who aren't aware of their developing relationship.
Daphne (Hurson) spies on her fiancé from a library window, sure that he's cheating on her. Sander ( Ryan McVittie ) is researching obituaries to provide a proper send-off for his mother, who died of cancer a year before.
The script allows both figures to go off into poetic memories, smartly staged by director Cathy Gordon as surreal snapshots that have as much weight as the pair's flirtatious actions. At one point, when language isn't enough to convey feelings, the two burst into dancelike movement. For all the sharpness of the staging, there's a seductive, dreamlike quality to the work that the actors and director catch perfectly.
McVittie gets to play a warmer, more emotionally responsive character than his usual roles, while Hurson is positively luminous and always true as the troubled Daphne, sure there's danger up ahead but intent on holding onto her fiancé. We should see Hurson, an actor who delivers straight from the heart, onstage more often.