The Crackwalker

Two evenings in a row with dark and depressing stories. This is one of Judith Thompson’s early plays, written in 1979. But it certainly stands up today, and may be even more relevant in these times of the uprising of the population against the excesses of the upper 1%.

The characters in the play are very definitely in the bottom 1%. Theresa, Sandy, Joe and Alan all struggle to find a place in the world, but are hampered by their lack of education, alcoholism, lack of skills, and the lack of employment opportunities. Joe manages to get away for a while, going down the road from Kingston to Calgary, but returns in time to see the chaos in the lives of Alan and Theresa and their baby come to a horrifying crisis.

We knew little or nothing about any of the young actors in the cast, but expect to see a lot more of them in the future. Yolanda Bonnell, who played fat, slow Theresa who just wants to be loved, was particularly impressive. All of the actors managed the diction and the accent of the lower class with impressive ease.

The “naked staging” theme of Factory Theatre’s season is particularly appropriate for this play. The words and the actions were all that was needed. The audience were stunned by the ending, erupting into applause only when the lights came up again and the cast came back on stage.



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.
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One Response to The Crackwalker

  1. keithhpotter says:

    Very well written and sad play. I have worked with people like the characters in the play; I didn’t know what to do for/about them then, and I still don’t. We live in a bubble and really are not aware of their struggles.
    Excuse me while I go and slash my wrists.

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