(From left) Beverly Ndukwu (as Lila Hines), Alex Poch-Goldin (Tony Cappello) and Sébastien Heins (Jackie Savage) in a scene from Bang Bang, by Kat Sandler. The Belfry Theatre co-production with the Royal Manitoba Theatre in Winnipeg runs Oct. 29 to Nov. 24 at the Belfry. Photo by Dylan Hewlett

REVIEW: Bang Bang offers thought-provoking theatre at the Belfry

Joint production with Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre has various subtexts to story

By Sheila Martindale

Monday Magazine theatre reviewer

Kit Sandler’s Bang Bang is a very good play, and it is very well acted. It comes to the Belfry Theatre ready-made from the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, and has a lot to say about racial profiling, gender roles and who should be allowed to tell the stories that define us.

What begins as a monumental shouting match develops into a serious drama with enough humour to prevent it being totally depressing.

Tom Keenan has the role of the playwright who has written a play about a black police officer who shot and killed a black kid, who had acted suspiciously but who was actually unarmed. The script was about to be made into a movie, with a male (but almost androgynous) actor, played by Sébastien Heins, as the star.

Warona Setshwaelo does a great job as the real police officer’s mother, while Beverly Ndukwu is splendid as the actual (but now ex) police officer. This competent cast is rounded out by Alex Poch-Goldin playing the part of ex-cop-turned-security-officer, Tony Capello, who lightens the tone of the piece with his weird humour.

Poor Keenan is the punching bag of the piece who suddenly steps out of character and starts a tense stand-off against the rest of the characters on stage. And it is interesting that all five actors are on the stage for almost all of this two-hour play.

The set is lovely, thanks to Adam Parboosingh; in fact all the creative team as well as the actors, should be applauded for putting together a thought-provoking piece of theatre.

A warning for more sensitive audience members, the play includes a lot of yelling and stretches of repetitive coarse language.

Bang Bang runs at the Belfry until Nov. 24. For tickets call 250-385-6815 or visit belfry.bc.ca

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