Yoshié Bancroft (Sabine) and Matthew Edison (Griffin) star in Griffin & Sabine, an adaptation of Nick Bantock’s book series being staged by the Belfry Theatre. Photo by David Cooper

Yoshié Bancroft (Sabine) and Matthew Edison (Griffin) star in Griffin & Sabine, an adaptation of Nick Bantock’s book series being staged by the Belfry Theatre. Photo by David Cooper

REVIEW: Journey enjoyable, destination elusive with Griffin and Sabine

Monday reviewer Sheila Martindale offers up her take on latest Belfry Theatre production

Sheila Martindale

Monday Magazine contributor

The language in the Belfry Theatre’s production of Griffin and Sabine is beautiful: lyrical and poetic. The acting is superb and the projected images are stunning.

The whole play is quite riveting, but the meaning, however, is unclear.

A woman living on an island in the South Pacific writes to an artist in London, England, telling him she can see his pictures as he draws and paints them, and asking him about his life and work. Puzzled, he replies, and soon they set up a regular correspondence across the globe, falling in love as they do so. They plan to meet, but it does not happen. She goes to London, but he takes off before she gets there. She stays in his studio, but there is no evidence of her ever being there. He comes back, and it looks as if they are in the same place, but they don’t see each other.

They continue to write letters in graceful language. A force of evil appears, determined to keep them apart. Other minor characters float in and out.

So the question is, what is this? A dream? A figment of the imagination? An allegory? An unfulfilled yearning for love or friendship?

We may never know. Perhaps those who have read this book series by Nick Bantock have a better understanding of the play, adapted for the stage by the author and the Belfry’s Michael Shamata, who directs it.

In the end it does not really matter. We may not know the destination, but we are taken on a wonderful and heartfelt journey. The two principal characters, played by Matthew Edison and Yoshie Bancroft, deliver amazing performances, ably supported by Benedict Campbell, Iris MacGregor Bannerman and Erin Ormand.

The whole thing is wonderfully put together. So do go and be carried away by the moving whimsy of Griffin and Sabine. Tickets are available online at belfry.bc.ca or by calling 250-385-6815.

Belfry TheatreLive theatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The set contributes greatly to the telling of the story in Griffin and Sabine, on now at the Belfry Theatre. Photo by David Cooper

The set contributes greatly to the telling of the story in Griffin and Sabine, on now at the Belfry Theatre. Photo by David Cooper

Just Posted

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy Everett Bumstead.
The tree planting life on Vancouver Island features in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

James Summer, the City of Victoria’s new youth poet laureate. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Slam poetry expert introduced as Victoria’s new youth poet laureate

Vic High alum James Summer will serve in the role for 2021

There are many options for enjoying a meal out locally during Dine Around and Stay in Town, on now through Feb. 7. (10 Acres Commons)
Dine Around Stay in Town Victoria carries added importance during pandemic

Special menu items for eat in or takeout/delivery, staycation deals available through Feb. 7

Peter Crema and Harmony Gray (from left), past participants of the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Code Switching teen art group, at work in ArtLab in 2019. The NAG will be expanding the space thanks to a $75,000 arts infrastructure program grant. (Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre receive new arts infrastructure funding

Province announces recipients of funding through B.C. Arts Council program

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Canadian singer-songwriter-actor Joëlle Rabu will join her son, Nico Rhoades, for a livestream performance courtesy the Tidemark Theatre Jan. 29. Photo submitted
Mother/son powerhouses Joelle Rabu and Nico Rhodes join forces for Island livestream

Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre hosts online music revue

Dr. John Hooper is the new conductor of Island Voices. Photo supplied
Island Voices welcomes new conductor

Dr. John Hooper to lead mid-Island based choir

Jorie Benjamin does a modern dance performance to ‘La Vie en rose’ by Édith Piaf, Louis Gugliemi and Marguerite Monnot, choreographed by Elise Sampson during the Cowichan Music Festival’s Highlights Concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Music Festival cancelled for 2021

The festival had already been limited to solo performances only for 2021

<em>Chinook Salmon: Breaking Through</em> by B.C.’s Mark Hobson was selected among 13 entries as the winner of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salmon Stamp Competition.
Stained-glass lighting casts a win to B.C. salmon artist

Painting of chinook is Mark Hobson’s third win in annual contest

Most Read