Drugs, raves, sex, lies -- even a videotape. Sounds like a great series of ingredients for engaging theatre. But Sarah Martyn's Sheroes only partly delivers.
Roommates Rachel, Ester and Cat find themselves caught in a jam when Ester (Martyn) steals a bag of drugs. The theft also brings out the teasings, torments and temperaments that make up the trio's shifting emotional and sexual relationships. Martyn's script doesn't often go beneath the surface here, and structuring the script as a mix of past and present doesn't do much to enrich the characters or escalate the dramatic stakes.
Still, there are some engaging elements in director Layne Coleman's fast-paced production, including designer Steve Lucas's use of the small, packed Backspace. As the uptight Rachel, who won't commit to her own sexuality, Cheri Maracle ignites sparks whenever she's onstage, and in her confrontations with the equally magnetic Keira Loughran's Cat, a stripper with a self-centred, cynical view of the world, the audience is treated to some all-claws-out theatre.
Martyn's Ester is the least focused of the three, both in writing and performance. The playwright creates a few effective scenes -- Rachel and Ester's first tentative statements of romantic interest, for instance -- but there's a soft fuzziness to her acting work that's at odds with the sharp edges of the other two women. JK
SHEROES, by Sarah Martyn, directed by Layne Coleman, with Martyn, Keira Loughran and Cheri Maracle. Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson). Runs to October 29, Tuesday-Saturday at 8 pm, matinee Sunday 2:30 pm. $16.50-$24, Sunday pwyc. 504-7529. Rating: NN