Little Pretty and the Exceptional

Written by Anusree Roy; Directed by Brendan Healy

Cast: Shelly Antony – Iyar; Shruti Kothari – Jasmeet; Farah Merani – Simran; Sugith Varughese – Dilpreet

Still dealing with jetlag, we worried about whether we would manage to stay awake through this show, which did not get a very positive review from JKN.  Fortunately, the play was gripping, the actors excellent and we were awake to the end. It seems wrong to use the word enjoyed to describe a reaction to a play about schizophrenia. So L won’t say I enjoyed it, but I did find it fascinating. And I disagree with JKN’s view of the play as disjointed.

The two sisters are united in love for and exasperation with their father. The three are getting ready to open a new sari store as gradually the cracks in the facades each puts up brgin to appear. Simran becomes obsessed with getting into Osgoode Hall and slides gradually into insanity. Jasmeet desperately tries to pretend that everything will go back to normal if Simran just gets some rest. When Dilpreet insists on taking Simran to the hospital she accuses him of creating the conditions that will cause Simran to attempt suicide, just like their mother did. He cracks too, and defends himself as a man who has been desperately trying to keep the family together.

It sounds like a soap opera, but the actors keep the story true to life, believable and sad.  it is also very funny. Everyone can see their own family dynamics in some part of the play!

Anusree Roy is certainly a Canadian talent to watch and support.

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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 Factory 2017, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Little Pretty and the Exceptional

  1. keithhpotter says:

    Since “Kim’s Convenience”, any play with immigrant families in a retail setting is likely to get a rough ride.
    However, “Little Pretty and the Exceptional”, while having similar intergenerational friction and also being very funny at times, is a very different play than Kim’s. It’s chronicling of a family dealing with a member’s mental illness is spotlit by the family trying to open a new Sari shop which is taking all the family’s finances and efforts.
    The cast did an excellent job of preventing the characters descending into caricatures and made their struggles seem real.
    The critical comments about the two themes of the play – the mental illness and opening of the shop – being in conflict are hard to understand. The shop opening provides the stress to bring the mental illness into the open.
    Anyway, I enjoyed it.

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