By JOE BELANGER, The London Free Press
June 8, 2012 11:31pm
Life is seldom fair, but somehow it mostly balances out in the
The fun, the joy, love lost and found, the hurt and pain is the
stuff that feeds that desperate need within us all to belong to
a family, to friends, to something -- anything -- that helps us
cope with the uncertainty of life and certainty of death.
And that's about all one really should say about the story that
is called delilah, written and directed by London's Len Cuthbert
and performed Friday at the Grand Theatre's McManus Studio on
the second day of the London Fringe Festival.
This is an outstanding 60-minute play, extended from the highly-acclaimed
10-minute version that debuted at last year's London One Act Festival.
The four-member cast includes 14-year-old Sarah From in the role
of Dee-J, Sarah C.E. Stanton as Delilah, best friend of Jade,
played by Tammy Vink, who are friends of Mick (Ray Wiersma), Dee-J's
legal guardian and adopted brother.
It is an outstanding cast, their performances in this bittersweet
tale near flawless, limited only by a script that almost screams
out for another rewrite and more time for these characters to
The cast is led by the main protagonist, Jade, who seems capable
of helping everyone around her deal with life's troubles, but
resorts to telling chicken jokes to avoid facing her own inner
From is a wonderful surprise, delivering the attitude, the emotions,
defiance, confusion and turmoil of early adolescence.
Stanton's Delilah is played with delicious understatement to
allow Vink to deliver her take-charge character.
The set design is simple but effective.
There are technical problems with this production but they are
The lighting is often too soft, making it difficult to see the
actors' face at some of the most important, emotion-packed moments.
Better lighting would also support the action on stage: brighter
for a happy scene; bluer, or darker, for sad or contemplative
Similarly, the blocking or positioning of the actors is a little
wonky with the actors sitting too close to the audience.
Regardless, this is a great play, one that should be on everyone's
Rating: **** (out of five)
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