by Bevin Dooley
A WORLD PREMIERE
Co-production with Parts & Labour Productions
Merran Carr-Wiggin, Chris W. Cook & Julia Guy
Directed by Wayne Paquette
Stage Managed by Andrea Murphy
Production Assistant Ayla Gandall
Poster by Bevin Dooley
Photographs by Mat Simpson Photography http://matsimpson.co/
Produced by Bevin Dooley, Wayne Paquette, Braydon Dowler-Coltman, & Luc Tellier
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Matty, two months out of prison, is desperate to atone for an act that shattered the delicate trust between himself, his sister Annie, and their friend Mary. But it’s been six years – six years during which no one has spoken to each other and everyone has desperately tried to move on. SLACK TIDE is the story of one fateful night that tests the limits of forgiveness.
WHERE CAN I SEE IT? SHOW TIMES:
Slack Tide is a part of the 36th Edmonton International Fringe Festival
Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre (8426 Gateway Blvd.)
Friday, August 18 12:15pm
Saturday, August 19 4:00pm
Monday, August 21 2:30pm
Thursday, August 24 9:00pm
Saturday, August 26 11:00pm
Sunday, August 27 2:00pm
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=601:1160
- 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
Slack Tide, written by Edmonton’s Bevin Dooley, is not for the faint of heart. The subject matter is a bit macabre at times and might require you to watch something a bit more lighthearted afterwards to cleanse the palette. In 45 minutes, this play attempts to understand the topic of forgiveness through the lens of a three-person cast: Matty (Chris W. Cook), Annie (Julia Guy), and Mary (Merran Carr-Wiggin). Much of the play is spent on exploring the dynamic between estranged brother and sister Matty and Annie. She’s dealing with the recent release of Matty from prison, but it comes at the cost of overdrawn silences that are awkward at times. The reason Matty was in prison has something to do with former friend Mary, and he wants her forgiveness. When the play does reach its denouement, your questions will have been resolved with an unexpected twist that renders a profound revelation.
3 Stars out of 5
In the mysterious first moments of Slack Tide, a man (the excellent Chris W. Cook) arrives on a rocky ocean beach clutching a bouquet of roses.
He is waiting, brooding; his gaze is inward. And as time passes — and it does, in this dark and unusual new drama by up-and-comer Bevin Dooley — his anxiety and the tension of the scene mount together.
A play about atonement unspools that way — as a long, slow burn that escalates gradually, agonizingly, in small, well-placed reveals in Wayne Paquette’s Blarney production.
Something terrible has happened — and terrible gets doled out very gradually and suspensefully in Slack Tide. Matty is just out of prison, we learn early, estranged for six long years from both his sister (Julia Guy) and their friend Mary (Merran Carr-Wiggin). And as he says, prison isn’t good for much, but it’s good for thinking.
Thinking (not talking) is what all three characters spend a lot of Slack Tide doing. They ponder their wounds and their words in a play of secrets that gets its force from being stingy with the verbal — and leaving space and room for the actors to communicate in other ways. All three are powerful; the performances are wary and watchful.
That kind of spare, elegant text and pacing, with its long silences and pauses and reaction shots, is highly unusual amongst young playwrights (and in the oft-overwritten Canadian repertoire for that matter). As its name suggests, Slack Tide moves in increments of horror, so slowly it doesn’t seem to move at all. The experience of that is tense and compelling. Questions about forgiveness And then — a rip tide? — it crashes in a horrifying melodramatic explosion of activity that seems, in truth, contrived for dramaturgical neatness.
After the absorbing mystery build of this promising, fearless piece, you’re beached by improbability. Before that, though, you’re drawn onto the strip of shore where time can stop and questions about forgiveness and love can be explored.
Slack Tide, opens with the ponderous tolling of a bell. For a split second, the audience may wonder if it’s Sunday morning in a small town, or perhaps dinner time on the farm. But make no mistake, it’s a death knell.
Bevin Dooley’s new play starts with a mystery, and it’s a good one. Matty (beautifully and believably performed by Chris Cook) is just out of prison after a six-year stint. We know he must have done something really bad as the other inmates were beating up on him, a treatment generally reserved for pedophiles. Even his own sister, Annie, never came to see him. Though Matty is trying to start his life anew, he needs something before he can take a step forward. That something comes in the form of Mary, who has been asked to come to a deserted stretch of east coast beach known as Killer’s Cove (again with the death knell). Matty has something he wants to tell her.
Carefully constructed to maximize suspense, and successfully so, Slack Tide refers to that moment when the ocean is moving neither in, nor out, but is waiting. Our three characters are also suspended in a bubble, unable to break free of old wounds. What can shift the dynamic? Though the pace of this new work by Edmonton’s award-winning Dooley borders on excruciating, it raises timeless questions about the nature of love and forgiveness.
3 Stars out of 5
This new work from young playwright Bevin Dooley pulls no punches in tackling weighty subjects. It’s set in Killer’s Cove, a local teenage hangout on the beach outside a small fishing village. The exact location isn’t named, but through clues in the script we learn it’s the sort of generic economically depressed, socially conservative rural town that affords no good prospects for its young people.
Dooley unspools her plot bit by provocative bit through a conversation between Matty (Chris Cook) and his sister Annie (Julia Guy). He’s been in jail for the past six years for committing an act so terrible it made him a target for regular beatings by murderers, rapists and arsonists. His sister didn’t visit him the entire time. And he’s there on that beach, clutching a bouquet of roses, to beg forgiveness of their friend Mary (Merran Carr-Wiggin), for what he did.
The show’s first half is riveting. Dooley’s script is mysterious and absorbing. The estranged sibling tension between Cook and Guy is completely believable; Cook in particular does a marvelous job in conveying a wonderfully complex emotional range and depth.
Both plot and tone take a sharp turn in the show’s second half with the entrance of Mary. It’s here that Dooley’s script stumbles a bit; it feels a bit rushed and unfinished, especially for the level of emotional action that the characters have to display. Still, this is a great debut with lots of potential. I’d love to see it fleshed out further.
3 Stars out of 5
Mel Priestley – Gig City
MEET THE TEAM
Bevin Dooley – PLAYWRIGHT
Born in Montréal and raised in Edmonton, Bevin holds a Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting from the Lir Academy/Trinity College Dublin, as well as a Bachelor in Arts in Drama from the University of Alberta. Most recently, she was seen in a piece of her own devising at Found Fest called The Author Will See You Now. Her play, Deadstock, was awarded the 2016 Alberta Playwriting Competition’s Novitiate Prize, and featured in a reading series as part of the 2015 Tiger Dublin Fringe. It received a second public reading in April 2017, supported by the Playwright’s Guild of Canada and Alberta Playwrights Network. Other works include The Crater, How to Come Back From the Dead, The Loneliest Place on Earth, and The Playmates, all of which were developed and read publicly at the Citadel Theatre. The Playmates was also produced at the University of Alberta’s New Works Festival in 2012. She has been a member of the Citadel Theatre’s Playwrights Forum and the Young Playwriting Company, and is currently a member of the RBC Emerging Artists Mentorship Program through Alberta Playwrights’ Network, where she is working on a new piece called In Camera.
Wayne Paquette – DIRECTOR
Wayne is the artistic director of Blarney Productions, and the artistic coordinator at the Citadel Theatre. Some of his credits include directing Blackbird, The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead, assistant directing/stage managing The Glass Menagerie, Doubt, A Parable; assistant directing The Wizard of Oz, Shining City, The Forbidden Phoenix (Citadel Theatre); directing The Country; Glorious; The Dazzle; co-directing Almost, Maine, Three Viewings, assistant directing Three Days of Rain, While My Mother Lay Dreaming, Sexy Laundry, Between Yourself and Me (Shadow Theatre); directing Marty Chan’s God’s Eye; Mothership Down (Paper Tiger Productions); Bonnie & Clyde (co-production with BrainPile); Murielle (co production with Promise Productions) 3…2…1 (co-production with Quiet Things Collective); Afterplay, The Christian Brothers, Madagascar, The Good Thief, Rum and Vodka, A Body of Water, Orange Flower Water, Skirmishes, The Year of Magical Thinking, The Age of Arousal, Mexican Blindness, Full Frontal Diva, MOTE, A Steady Rain, Love Letters, A Slow Air, and Dark Vanilla Jungle.(Blarney Productions).Wayne is producing three plays at the 2017 International Fringe Festival: A Quiet Place (co-production with BrainPile); To Be Moved, and Legoland (Blarney Productions) and directing three plays: Slack Tide (Premiere, co production with Parts and Labour Productions), The Superhero Who Loved Me (Premiere); and The Small Things (Blarney Productions).
Merran Carr-Wiggin – Mary
Merran had such an incredible time working on Slack Tide and despite the dark subject matter, the amazing cast and crew kept her laughing non-stop! Merran is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program. Previously for Blarney, Merran appeared in Subway Circus and played Bonnie Parker in Bonnie & Clyde. Theatre credits elsewhere include: A Christmas Carol (The Citadel Theatre); Everyone We Know Will Be There (Tiny Bear Jaws); The Comedy of Errors (Theatre Calgary); Othello (The Shakespeare Company). For the Edmonton Fringe, Merran has co-produced and starred with her partner Evan Hall in Gruesome Playground Injuries (BrainPile), and she starred in the hit Sterling-nominated production Princess Confidential and the sold out sequel Princess Confidential: Familiar Melody (Promise Productions). Merran co-created and performed her children’s show For When She Wakes with her pal Zoe Glassman for the SkirtsAFire Festival, celebrating women in the arts. Recent film credits include: Break On Through (Ignition Films); Love of my Life and Happily Ever After (Paragraph Pictures), Fantasies of Flying (Tribal Alliance), Loneliness of a Sewer Trucker (Zamata Films) and the award-winning short film Pumpkin (Be Nothing Productions). Also this year at the Fringe, Merran will be returning to her role as the Princess in the third show in the Princess Confidential series, Princess Confidential: Fortress Falls. She will also be starring in the remount of Gruesome Playground Injuries with her partner Evan Hall, this time with a new creative team five years later.
Chris W. Cook – Matty
Chris is an Edmonton based, Sterling Award nominated actor. Select film and theatre credits include: Nighthawk Rules (What It Is Productions), The Conversion (Kill Your Television Theatre), 3…2…1(Blarney Productions), Romeo and Juliet (Citadel Theatre), Featuring Loretta & Risk Everything (Punctuate! Theatre), Drat! The Cat! & Wish You Were Here (Plain Jane Theatre), Sequence (Shadow Theatre), Assassins (Loose Ends Theatre), Hamlet, Red Light Winter & The Little Dog Laughed (U of A), A Bronte Burlesque (Send in the Girls Burlesque), Year After Year (Osmosis Entertainment) and Hell on Wheels (AMC). Since 2011 Chris has been producing and performing his show Eyes of the Enemy (Watch Me Productions) and is in the process of creating a film adaptation. In October Chris will be performing in The Aliens by Annie Baker (What It Is Productions) as part of the Roxy Performance Series. This spring and summer he filmed two exciting projects: a featured role as Gil Butler on the NBC/Universal television series Damnation and as a Ski Bum in Hard Powder, a new Liam Neeson action movie. Sorry to name drop…but it’s Liam Neeson! Happy Fringe!
Julia Guy – Annie
Julia is thrilled to be back at the Edmonton Fringe this year! Select credits include Arcadia, Sense and Sensibility and A Christmas Carol (Citadel Theatre); Pride and Prejudice (Theatre Calgary/National Arts Centre); William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead (The Shakespeare Company/ Ground Zero/Hit & Myth); Othello and Twelfth Night (Freewill Shakespeare Festival); A Midsummer Nights Dream (Theatre Calgary’s Shakespeare by the Bow); Cymbeline, Fuddy Meers (Studio Theatre, U of A); and Whisper (Studio Theatre/ Catalyst) Julia is a graduate of the BFA acting program at U of A.
Andrea Murphy – Stage Manager
With one messy top knot and a lot of coffee Andrea Murphy has been a stage manager in Edmonton for the past six years. A graduate of the University of Alberta, Andrea has worked as a stage manager for many companies. Recent credits include the Sterling award winning Bone Wars (Punctuate Theatre), ANXIETY (Theatre YES). Enjoy the show!