WESTERN, A PLAY WITH MUSIC by Matthew Gorman, music by Gordon Bolan (Harvey Dunn Campfire/Next Stage). Factory Studio. January 12 at 7:15 pm, January 13 at 8:45 pm, January 14 at 2:15 pm, January 15 at 3:30 pm. See listing. Rating: NN
When Western, A Play With Music was over, I heard the people behind me mutter to each other: "What happened?"
I couldn't help them out. Matthew Gorman's script is many things – poetic, magic realist – but one thing it's not is clear. Which got me thinking: even if you're going to deconstruct the genre and go all meta – and I'm not even sure Gorman's trying to do that – a western should at least provide a compelling story.
Confusingly narrated, the script features something about a sister, a dead brother (who might be a rabbit), a shady lawyer and a villain. But beyond that I couldn't say. Director Geoffrey Pounsett does some inventive things with staging and props, however; I never knew a simple bedsheet could have so many uses.
And the talented performers speak their lines with conviction. It's what they're saying that doesn't resonate. Gordon Bolan's music, performed by the composer and Jocelyn Adema, is pleasant but unmemorable, and adds little to the story, such as it is.