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

Just Posted

Vancouver Island dance classes billed as female empowerment tool

New Comox Valley business focuses on ‘promoting positive body image’

Duncan’s Big Stick lights up red to signal COVID’s devastation of the arts

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

Chorus expands online options to in-person rehearsal in Langford, Oak Bay

Free, non-auditioned SingYourJoy recruits those aged 16 to 29

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Bucket list: Mid-Island set to come alive with special drumming

Pair of programs scheduled to take place starting October

Cowichan Performing Arts Centre streaming new short film tonight

Standing By has been created and performed by Cowichan-raised actor Nicole Ratjen.

Voting now ready for Oak Bay’s Arts Alive 2020 sculptures

Audio and written descriptions posted for all 10 sculptures

Snuneymuxw artist brings aquatic designs to Nanaimo’s Beban Park pool

Work by artist Eliot White-Hill is being installed at the pool this month

Nanaimo musician plays all instruments on DIY debut album

Jamie Penner releasing guitar-centric instrumental record ‘Out of Curiosity’

Hospice worker and patient butt heads in upcoming Nanaimo theatre production

Yellow Point Drama Group presents ‘Grace and Glorie’ at Cedar Community Hall

Most Read