Bonnie & Clyde
Bonnie & Clyde
by Adam Peck
A CANADIAN PREMIERE
A Co-Production between BrainPile Productions and Blarney Productions
Merran Carr-Wiggin and Evan Hall
Directed by Wayne Paquette
Stage Managed by Joan Wyatt
Photographs by Mat Simpson Photography http://matsimpson.co/
Poster and Programs by Tynan Boyd
Presented at the 34th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival
Playing at the C103 (formerly known as the Catalyst Theatre)
8529 Gateway Blvd
BONNIE & CLYDE
“We’ve all got it coming, some just sooner than others”
The American South.
110 degrees in the shade.
Crossing the state border in a stolen Ford V-8 with a trunk full of sawed off shotguns and bootleg whiskey, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow have found one last place to hide – but the combined heat from the weather, and the law and their explosive relationship ignites the infamous couples hideout.
Bullets are running low.
Time is running out.
Based on the true story, Blarney Productions’ Bonnie & Clyde is an intimate retelling of the final hours of one the world’s most legendary criminal duos.
* * * * *
Global News – Todd James
It’s the Canadian premiere of this production as the famous bank robbers, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, alone now and holed up in a tattered barn as the end approaches, reflect on their run as the most feared gang of criminals of their time. The rest of the Barrow gang is dead and Bonnie and Clyde are at once remorseful and proud of their violent deeds. Based on the true story it’s an intimate, thoughtful take on these iconic figures with strong, at times chilling performances from Merran Carr-Wiggin and Evan Hall.
4 STARS out of 5
VUE WEEKLY – Ryan Bromsgrove
The titular relationship in Bonnie and Clyde pulses deliciously between love and animosity as the two fugitives hole up eating ham and beans, pondering the choices they’ve made and their inevitable impending deaths. The actors naturally transition between different moods, pulling guns or having sex as appropriate. They deftly portray turmoil, remorse, longing and dissatisfaction with relentless force. The show could use a little tune-up with the structure—the occasional cutaway descriptions of other events don’t sizzle as they could—but it nonetheless presents a gripping slice of the short, violent lives of Bonnie and Clyde.
4 STARS out of 5
The Edmonton Sun – Colin MacLean
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow carried off a series of spectacular bank robberies in the 1930s. They launched a two year killing spree that resulted in the deaths of at least 13 people including seven police officers.
The two died in a hail of bullets in 1934 as so memorably captured in the 1967 Faye Dunaway/Warren Beatty movie.
British playwright Adam Peck has taken a run at the legend in his play Bonnie & Clyde now at the Fringe. Peck wisely doesn’t tell us what we already know but focusses his story as they huddle against the world on their last days. As we join them, they are holed up in a Louisiana barn nursing wounds. By then their dreams and prospects have diminished and Peck doesn’t attempt to give them mythic proportions.
Clyde (Evan Hall) is bitter and consumed with anger at the big money corporations who exploit the poor. He is haunted by the death he has brought to so many people. Bonnie (Merran Carr-Wiggin), despite a bad bullet wound in her leg, fantasizes where her celebrity will take her. She keeps challenging Clyde and they squabble about the man she married and then left for him. They stage a pretend marriage and she dreams about being buried side by side. There is an attempt at sex. Like delighted children at play they act out robberies they never committed but are given credit for in the papers.
At one point, Peck has Clyde come to centre stage and chillingly describe, in horrific detail, the bullet-ridden end that awaits them in the next few days.
Hall and Carr-Wiggin, worn out from many days of sleeping in their car — unable even to light a fire to keep warm, are deeply committed in their characters and make a very believable and fragile couple facing the last days of a life that has grown wildly out of their control.
Wayne Paquette’s taut production (and music) adds menace and a creeping premonition of the horrors yet to come.
3.5 SUNS out of 5
Liz Nicholls – The Edmonton Journal
We’ve seen them as action stars, in a legendary Depression-era bank robbery spree. We know about their violent exit from the world, in a bullet-riddled Ford.
This play, by the Brit writer Adam Peck, instead wonders what Bonnie and Clyde are like when they’re at home — just hanging out in one of the series of barns in which they were reduced to hiding near the end.
What gives this little play its oddly gentle tone is that the fugitives sense that ending. They seem to know they’re doomed; that knowledge colours everything. “There’s a time to live and a time to die,” says Bonnie (Merran Carr-Wiggin) calmly, by way of benediction at the outset.
“We’ve said most things already,” says Clyde (Evan Hall), who returns repeatedly to the thought that the future has shrunk to almost nothing. He’s had his fill of murder; in their latest robbery, he’d outright refused to kill a boy. “Fear ain’t no reason to die …. He had his whole life in front of him.” Bonnie, impervious to these larger questions and to regret, is amused.
They play games of “what would you rather be?” to pass the time. They make love, sort of. They bicker mildly. “It’s like you don’t even want to have a nice time,” Bonnie complains, demanding more attention. What she’s done she’s done for love.
From time to time Clyde steps outside, and in a pool of lurid red light, to a thudding soundtrack, he foresees the impending finale, in all its bloody detail.
This behind-the-scenes domestic portrait is appealing enough in theory, but blurred in practice. Wayne Paquette’s production has a meandering quality that intrigues for a while, a shrug that disappears in vagueness. The characters onstage are passing the time, waiting for the end. And so are we.
3 STARS out of 5