I had not considered the idea of a play as a portrait before, but this play is interesting not because of the plot, which is quite limited, but because it creates three dramatic portraits.
Doc, played by RH Thomson takes the lead. Driven to work by his desire to succeed, to make a difference, to help people, he ignores the needs of the people closest to him. He knows what his wife needs and cannot understand why she thinks she needs something else. The reflections of life as a wife in the mid twentieth century are painful to watch, but essentially not important. The real problem is his ego getting in the way of his actually listening to anyone who is not a patient. Thomson is always a pleasure to watch,even when he is ranting.
Bob, (Jane Spidell) is the second portrait. The alcoholic wife who takes to drink out of frustration, not because she can’t work, but because she can’t connect with her husband. Spidell was terrific in this role – never taking it over the top, but hovering on the edge of anguish.
Katie/Catherine is the least defined portrait of the three – probably because the role is split between the character at two ages. Hannah Gross was very good as the young Katie and Carmen Grant equally solid as Catherine. But the role is not as clear as Doc or Bob, largely because she does not act, she reacts to her parents. As a result we learn less about her and who she has become.
Derek Boyes was very good as Oscar, but the character is not well developed enough to be considered a protrait – just a sketch.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
This entry was posted in Hannah Gross, Jane Spidell, RH Thomson, Soulpepper 2010. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Doc

  1. Keith says:

    For once, I do not think I have anything to add to Cathy's comments – she must be getting better at this!

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