The blonde, the brunette and the vengeful redhead

Fiona Reid remains one of my favourite actors. She is currently playing in a production of Robert Hewett’s ‘The Blonde, The Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead’ at the Citadel. We saw it last night and it was wonderful! The script is good. Fiona was brilliant… its a one-woman show where she plays seven different characters, ranging from a little boy to an old woman, with stops in-between at a misogynist, a lesbian doctor, a Russian immigrant tart, a middle aged meddler and an inadvertent murderer.

The idea behind the set was very good, but I question the execution of the final design. The ‘shape’ was awkward, but I can see what the designer was trying to do… The projections were only interesting. The idea, the concept was great, but the images projected seemed to feel like an afterthought, rather than an integrated part of the design and direction.. well, okay, in some cases the projections did advance the plot or complimented the script in some manner, but too many of them didn’t seem to have enough thought. And definitely not enough effort put into the execution of the images. But the technology was well handled.

And, I didn’t like the lighting design. There were one or two points where the lighting was good, but for the most part it was too much about making pretty patterns on the stage, and not enough about lighting Fiona properly. I really felt for Fiona as she tried to find her ‘light’, a hot spot for her face to be properly lit. I was also quite surprised by how badly the lighting changes flowed… I can’t imagine that Fiona’s timing was that different from when the cues were set. The set was essentially put together into a recognizable picket fence and a distorted house silhouette from the shards of a broken mirror; the mirrored surfaces could have been used to much greater effect. Generally, I was very disappointed in the lighting.
It was a great show, nevertheless, and one that I would recommend to anyone. Go ahead, spend the money!
On a more social note, we ran into Marilyn Ryan; nice lady. We also spent a few minutes speaking with Lorraine and John Price. Now that was fun. They look great, and project the old energy that I used to enjoy from both of them. John is at the University and really seems to enjoy being a ‘mentor’; Lorraine has found a comfortable, and eminently workable rhythm for her department at the Citadel. They seem quite happy and content with themselves… rare, isn’t it?
We also met up with Bill Heron for a few, brief moments. I really would like to sit and talk with him at great lengths, rather than these careening visits. I’m full of questions for him, and I know that he has a lot of questions for me. Trying to package our conversations into 5 minutes bursts isn’t very satisfying for either of us… I’m still not comfortable ‘hanging out’ at the theatre, so I’m always trying to get away. We need to get together on neutral territory.

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