This play is proof that you can deal with important social issues, even issues that are hard to discuss without offending someone, and still write a funny play. After three days in a row of intense drama, this was a relief.
The basic plot is simple – a man writes a play inspired by a real life incident, in which a young black man is shot by a black female cop. The writer comes to visit the cop, to get her perspective. Comedy ensues. But so does a serious discussion of racism, systemic and casual; of stereotypes; appropriation of voice; and the line between fiction and reality.
Jeff Lillico was brilliant as Tim, the writer. But he was matched in every way by Kadijah Roberts-Abdullah as Lila, Karen Robinson as her mother Karen, Sebastien Heins as Jackie and Richard Zeppieri as Tony.
In the battle of shots, it is hard to know who got the most zingers, Tony or Karen. And in the long rants, Tim was matched by Lila. Jackie got the most physical laughs. Everyone had a job to do and did it well. The whole cast maintained a fine balance between humour and serious discussion of the issues. Eventually, the play ends with no happy solution, because there isn’t one. Writer and director Kat Sandler hit exactly the right tone.
But it was worth a standing ovation and it got one!