Opening night at the Belfry Theatre is always an event.
Whether you like the play or love it, there are friends to see and new people to meet along with the anticipation of something new.
The Belfry’s double bill of The Best Brothers and How To Disappear Completely is both entertaining and compelling – plus you learn a few things as well.
Daniel MacIvor’s The Best Brothers is a sharply-written, funny, honest story of two mismatched brothers dealing with the death of their mother – and what to do with her dog.
The chemistry between actors Rod Pederson (Kyle) and John Ullyatt (Hamilton) is engaging and even sweet at times. They lob the dialogue deftly back and forth across the stage, then bam! their energy fills the theatre.
The pair take turns portraying their mother as she sets the scene for the lifelong sibling battle in a way that at first seems campy, but eventually comes through as tender.
The sets are clean and clever and director Glynis Leyshon, also a gifted opera director, gleans the best from her cast.
After a short intermission, The Best Brothers is followed by Itai Erdal’s unique performance piece How To Disappear Completely.
Erdal moves about the stage, telling stories about his sister, his friend and his mother, all set to the backdrop of film he shot while his mother slowly died from lung cancer.
A lighting designer, Erdal controls the lights from the stage and explains their use – practical as well as emotional – as he goes.
Erdal’s personality is what drives this one hour performance along. He has a unique ability to share from his core, connect with his audience and leave a piece of his heart behind.
Having spoken to Erdal prior to the performance I was a bit trepidacious about the experience. The performance, though is about family, relationships and, ultimately, what we’ll do for love.
The double bill makes for a bit of a long evening but it’s definitely worth staying up for.
Click here for show and ticket information.