Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

 

There are flashes of the brilliance of his Wingfield series in Perils of Persephone by Dan Needles, but only flashes.

This comedy about the Currie family being “helped” to deal with a possible spill of nuclear waste by an MPP and the media-savvy Premier’s assistant works some of the time, but neither the script nor the Ottawa Little Theatre production sustain the momentum throughout.

For example, one character has to give a long description of how her ancestor found the partial skeleton of a mammoth in the swamp on the family property. Even though Chantal Despatie, who plays the teenage daughter telling the story, does her best to sound enthusiastic and make the tale interesting, she is faced with a daunting task, particularly as she is talking to a pot-zonked truck driver (Andrew Stewart clings to this aspect in his one-note performance.)

Director Val Bogan focuses on giving the Currie family a sense of closeness and reality and is best served in this by Nancy Thompson as mother/wife/cook. On the political side of the fence, a well-costumed Annette Huron delivers a very credible version of a spin doctor smoothing away a crisis on the edge of legality.

Perhaps because the image of actor Rod Beattie in his solo performances as Walt Wingfield remains so strong, the male characters in Perils of Persephone are not always completely convincing. However, it is likely they will grow into their roles as the run of the OLT season opener continues.

The Ottawa Little Theatre production of Perils of Persephone continues to October 4.

Director: Val Bogan

Set and lighting: David Magladry

Sound: Bob Krukowski

Costumes: Jeanne Gauthier

Cast:

Marj Currie………………………………………………..Nancy Thompson

Orval Currie……………………………………………….John Balsevicius

Wendy Currie……………………………………………..Chantal Despatie

Eldon Currie……………………………………………….Ian Stauffer

Francis Hinckley…………………………………………Andrew Stewart

Henry Burford……………………………………………Harold Swaffield

Skip Fuller………………………………………………..Annette Huton