A QUIET PLACE
A QUIET PLACE
by Brendan Gall
Co Production with BrainPile Productions
Braydon Dowler-Coltman & Luc Tellier
Directed by Evan Hall (Directing Debut)
Poster by Perry Gratton
Photographs by Mat Simpson Photography http://matsimpson.co/
Produced by Merran Carr-Wiggin, Evan Hall, Wayne Paquette, Braydon Dowler-Coltman, & Luc Tellier
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
In a room with no door, two amnesiacs attempt to solve the puzzle of their own existence while trying not to kill each other or fall in love. A great reckoning in a little room, this play will take you from mystery to comedy to tragedy – all with just two men, one chair, and a light bulb.
WHERE CAN I SEE IT?
A Quiet Place is a part of the 36th Edmonton International Fringe Festival
Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre (8426 Gateway Blvd.)
Thursday, August 17 9:45pm
Friday, August 18 11:00pm
Sunday, August 20 4:45pm
Monday, August 21 12:15pm
Wednesday, August 23 9:30pm
Sunday, August 27 8:00pm
WHERE CAN I BUY MY TICKETS?
Tickets for the 2017 Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival
ON SALE NOW!
You may purchase your tickets:
- Online: https://tickets.fringetheatre.ca/performances.php?eventId=601:1153
- By phone at (780) 409-1910
- In person at any Festival box offices (locations and times will be announced August 1)
- In person from TIX on the Square or La Cite Francophone
Blarney Production’s remount of Brendan Gall’s play A Quiet Place isn’t one to miss. Just be ready for some mental gymnastics. The play is a meticulously paced exploration of two men trapped in a five-square-metre room with no doors. It’s peppered with levity but it’s also dominated by pensive moments that linger in the minds of the audience as well as its two characters. Brayden Dowler-Coltman anchors as the ever-present Henry in the barren room, and he’s mysteriously joined by Luc Tellier playing an unwitting—and unwilling—interloper, David. With no escape, no meaningful recollection of their pasts, and no apparent need for food, water or sleep, this drama develops through a sequence of vignettes. During cuts to black, they jump across indeterminate periods of time as the two men are intelligently transposed around the space and through each scene of their own creation. It’s done with such horrifically intellectual consideration that it becomes comedic. Rather than a clichéd and prolonged descent into madness, their journey pushes every presented idea to its limits, as Henry and David’s massive fight against boredom drives their search for meaning. Dowler-Coltman and Tellier’s performance leaves nothing to be desired during the highs of playground games like ‘Red Light, Green Light’ or ‘I Spy,’ and the lows of their exasperated search for escape. The seeming eternity they live through on stage makes for a one-act performance that is essential viewing.
4.5 stars out of 5
Within the first five minutes of A Quiet Place there is recurring yelling, swearing and repeated violence. I ask, “What am I in for”?
It turns out the two-hander is a brilliantly written, very funny and ultimately a riveting look at how we perceive reality.
It starts off with two guys locked in a room. They can’t remember anything about their past or how they got there. Since the room has no doors or windows, they can’t escape.
If this sounds like Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, it’s because playwright Brendan Gall is fascinated with existentialism. The heavy themes at times are confusing, however Gall has a wonderful ear for dialogue creating both the hilarious and poignant.
What makes the play special are the first-rate performances of former St. Albert Children’s Theatre actor Luc Tellier and Braydon Dowler-Coltman.
Dowler-Coltman is the mystifying calm Henry who practices tai chi and exudes a quiet intensity. As David, Tellier is strikingly different – bewildered, antagonistic and desperate to find a way out.
To pass the time, the duo teaches each other games, and both actors develop rich portrayals as they fluidly negotiate the transitions from comedy to anxiety to peace.
Director Evan Hall deserves a hand for keeping the play focused without straining under the weight of its ideas. Be prepared to think and see a show that asks more questions than provides answers.
4.5 Stars out of 5
There are rules in the small, cramped room that Henry (Braydon Dowler-Coltman) lives in, something that David (Luc Tellier) has to find out.
David has woken up tied to a chair in the room, and every time he asks why he’s there, Henry punches him into unconsciousness. It looks as though Henry has kidnapped David, but there appears to be no motive. It becomes very quickly apparent that not all is as it seems in the Blarney Production remount of playwright Brendan Gall’s A Quiet Place.
The disquiet of the opening few scenes turn quickly to uncertainty, horror, even surreal humour, as Henry and David grapple with their fate. Time fades, becomes elastic, the nature of reality is thrown out as the play moves forward into Beckett territory. This isn’t conventional theatre with a conventional plot — you have to give yourself over to the odd rhythms of the piece and not worry about where the play is heading.
If you do so you’ll find yourself enjoying a couple of excellent, often hilarious performances by Tellier and Dowler-Coltman, and a play that will have you thinking for some time after.
4 Stars out of 5
Tom Murray – Edmonton Journal
Two men are in a small room that’s completely empty except for a lightbulb and a red chair. One of the games they’re playing to pass the time is I Spy.
It’s a punchline — to the cosmic existential joke that is the barebones situation in this homage to Beckett comedy by the Canadian actor/playwright Brendan Gall.
For as long as he can remember, for no reason he can fathom, Henry (Braydon Dowler-Coltman) has been in the windowless doorless room by himself. Then, either he’s been sleeping or he blinks, and, voilà, there’s another man in the room, tied to the red chair.
Every time David (Luc Tellier) demands “hey, what is this?” or “why are you doing this?” Henry knocks him out again. Naturally David assumes he’s a prisoner and Henry is his jailer.
But before long they come to the realization that they’re in this together. Like Beckett’s tramps in Waiting for Godot, hoping to find some meaning in their existence here in the room, they reason that “there must have been a moment before.”
Have they always been here? The why? question stumps them every time. To wait without waiting for something is, in effect, to stop time. “I’d kill for a clock,” says one.
So, like Vladimir and Estragon by the tree, they devise ways to amuse each other and themselves. David teaches Henry chess; Henry teaches David tai-chi. The dialogue, like the physical comedy of the piece which escalates, is funny, and gets funnier. And Dowler-Coltman and Tellier make the most of both, in this sharply timed production directed by Evan Hall, a fine actor (Gruesome Playground Incidents) making his director’s debut here.
Dowler-Coltman is the chattier one, more determinedly upbeat in his approach to nothingness; Tellier is the one who has to be coaxed. The chemistry is fun, though that particular f-word really doesn’t come up much in existential voids. The performances are first-rate.
Where meaning doesn’t exist, and time doesn’t pass — the “great reckoning in a little room” that David alludes to, quoting from Shakespeare’s As You Like It — man has to invent them. Or at least camouflage their absence. He has to amuse himself by inventing rules, and victories. And plotless plays like this one.
“I dreamed I was alone,” says David with a little shiver. “You are alone. We both are…” says Henry. Sartre didn’t think so, in his No Exit, but having company to be alone with is in the end a cosmic consolation.
Liz Nicholls – 12thNight.ca
I’m not saying A Quiet Place is bad theatre.
Not in the least. It’s probably very, very good theatre.
But I’m part of that Fringe audience that just doesn’t understand/comprehend/grok that style of abstract theatre known as “Theatre of the Absurd”.A Quiet Place is meant not to make contextual sense … I think.
The show makes no attempt to explain why two men are in an inescapable room, why one starts being bound in a chair and being beat up by the other, why the relationship evolves.
The acting, by Luc Tellier and Braydon Dowler-Coltman, is first-rate. While I couldn’t make head or tail of what was happening or why, I could take some artistic pleasure in the acting itself.
Otherwise … sorry, I just didn’t get it, and I could take no joy in the notion that perhaps I’m not supposed to get it, that I’m supposed to understand this show on some abstract level of existential philosophy.
I think ….
??? out of 5 Stars
Graham Hicks – Hicksbiz.com
MEET THE TEAM
Evan Hall – DIRECTOR (debut)
Evan is beyond excited to be returning to the Fringe and partnering again with Blarney Productions in his directorial debut for A Quiet Place! Previously with Blarney he has appeared in Bonnie & Clyde (co-production BrainPile) and Murielle (co – pro Promise Productions. Recent performance credits include Macbeth, As You Like It (TSC), A Christmas Carol (Citadel), The Much Ado About Nothing (Thou Art Here), This Is War (Punctuate! Theatre), Fritters in Kandahar (Lunchbox Theatre) and The Hothouse Prince (Teatro la Quindicina). Previously at the Fringe, he has performed in Salt-Water Moon (Whizgiggling), Letters to Laura (Short Girl), A Bronte Burlesque (Send in the Girls) and Zastrozzi (Surreal SoReal). Under BrainPile, he has produced and starred in Notes from a Zombie Apocalypse, and Gruesome Playground Injuries all at the Edmonton Fringe. Up next he will appear in What It Is Productions The Aliens as a part of the Roxy Performance Series. Also at the Fringe this year, Evan appears in the reimagined remount of Gruesome Playground Injuries! Thanks for coming!
Braydon Dowler-Coltman – Henry
Braydon is an Edmonton-based theatre artist, and an Artistic Associate with Blarney Productions. He received a BFA in Acting at the University of Alberta. Select theatre credits include: The Salon of the Talking Turk (Teatro La Quindicina), Fortune Falls (Catalyst Theatre/ATP), Subway Circus (Blarney Productions), Burning Bluebeard (Edmonton Actor’s Theatre), That’s Danger (AWHC), Tarzan (Broadway Live), Passion Play (WildSide Productions), Bloody Poetry, Blood Wedding (Studio Theatre), A Christmas Carol, Peter Pan, The Pillowman (Citadel Theatre). Braydon received a Sterling Nomination for his direction of Scaramouche Jones (Blarney Productions) at last years Edmonton Fringe Festival. This year he will be returning to directing with a new creation: To Be Moved (Blarney Productions) at The Playhouse, while performing in A Quiet Place (BrainPile/Blarney Productions) at the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre.
Luc Tellier – David
This is Luc’s third season with Blarney, after directing last summer’s Never Swim Alone (Sterling Award Nomination) and appearing as Norman Bates in MOTE. Selected credits include Songs My Mother Never Sung Me and Sprouts (Concrete Theatre); Working It Out (Alberta Workers’ Health Centre); Songs For Sinners and Saints (Catalyst); A Christmas Carol, Arcadia, and The Sound of Music (Citadel); The Hothouse Prince and The Nutcracker Unhinged (Teatro la Quindicina); Maggie-Now (Workshop West); and King Lear and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Freewill Shakespeare Festival). Up next, he heads back to the Citadel for Shakespeare In Love, a co-production with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. He is the director of Blarney Productions’ Legoland, which is also running right now at the Fringe.
Brendan Gall – PLAYWRIGHT
Gall has written and/or produced for the television series Blindspot, Open Heart, and The L.A. Complex, the CBC Radio drama series Afghanada, the feature films The Go-Getters and Dakota, and stage plays such as Panhandled, A Quiet Place, Alias Godot and Wide Awake Hearts.
A playwright in residence at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre from 2007 to 2017 and artistic director of his own theatre companies Single Threat and The Room, he has been nominated for four Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding New Play: twice in 2008 for Alias Godot and A Quiet Place, again in 2009 for The Gladstone Variations, and finally in 2011 for Wide Awake Hearts. Wide Awake Hearts and A Quiet Place were published by Coach House Books in 2010 under the title Minor Complications: Two Plays. The title was a shortlisted nominee in the English-language drama category of the 2011 Governor General’s Awards. Gall has also been nominated twice for the K.M. Hunter Artist Award.