Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The Park, Sept 17, 2008 **1/2

The Park 
By Steve Wheat, by Grainfed Theatre
Where and When: Cromwell Rd Theatre, Tues to Sun until Sep 26
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Stars: **1/2

Steve Wheat’s play, The Park, directed by Beng Oh, intertwines several stories of grief, loss and love with 13 actors – unusually large cast for a small company.

Two middle aged couples grieve for their sons, one of whom was driving the car that caused the death of the other young man. A young widow mourns her husband’s death and hooks up with a heart transplant patient who might be the recipient of her husband’s heart.

A couple whose relationship is on the skids when a past affair is unmasked, run the groovy cafĂ© in the park where all the characters eventually come for a coffee - or a sherry shandy.  Meanwhile, one waitress loses her sight, another waits for news of her missing child.

The production is successful in part because of Wheat’s often amusing and sympathetic dialogue. However, the acting is uneven and needs faster paced direction.  The most affecting scenes come later in the play when we witness a moving meeting between the parents of two young men who died in the same a car accident.

By Kate Herbert

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