Heidi Damayo (Thai) and Andrew McNee (Mustard) star in Mustard by Kat Sandler, running Oct. 30 through Nov. 25 at The Belfry Theatre. Photo by Mark Halliday

Folks with imaginary friends may relish The Belfry’s Mustard

Growing up sometimes means leaving childhood securities behind

Felicia Santarossa

Monday Magazine contributor

What would you do if you still had an imaginary friend? If you’re 16-year-old Thai, you’d try to move on, but old habits die hard.

It doesn’t help having to endure her parent’s painful divorce, her mother’s increased drinking and the consequences of her destructive behaviour at school. Her imaginary friend Mustard – the namesake of the new Belfry Theatre production – has always been there, but what does this mean for Thai?

Adulthood and childhood boundaries blur in this play, a co-production between the Belfry Theatre and the Arts Theatre Club of Vancouver. Recently coming off a run at Vancouver’s Granville Island stage, Mustard is the brainchild of Toronto-based playwright Kat Sandler and won the 2016 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play.

Mustard, played by Andrew McNee, is whimsical and goofy and dresses in bright colours with a jester’s hat. He’s been a part of Thai’s life (Heidi Damayo) since she was a baby and finds himself now aggressively competing for her attention with her new boyfriend Jay (Chirag Naik). However, he’s also getting curious about the adult world, especially as Thai’s mother (Jenny Wasko-Paterson) is beginning to see him, too.

It makes you wonder, why do we create these creatures?

Sandler has often called her material “writing for the Netflix generation,” and the second show of the Belfry’s 2018-19 Mainstage season could fit right in with the streaming service.

Mustard runs from Oct. 30 to Nov. 25. For ticket and other information, check out the Belfry’s website at belfry.bc.ca/ or call 250-385-6815.

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