Back by popular demand, Urban Arts Productions is taking audiences on a trip through the tormented mind of Edgar Allan Poe in the haunting musical Nevermore.
Full of beautiful words, alluring voices, and heart-wrenching choral harmonies, this musical takes a look at the last moments of Poe’s life as he struggles with the choices he made and the women he loved in a delirious series of nightmares, flashbacks and dreams.
Lit almost entirely by candlelight, the historic vice-admiralty courtroom at the Maritime Museum of B.C. in Bastion Square is the perfect setting to commemorate the life of one of the most famous American wordsmiths. With no stage and no set beyond the permanent fixtures of the courtroom, Nevermore is theatre-in-the-round at its best. No seat can claim an advantage. Whether seated in the gallery, the jury’s benches (originally from Victoria’s historic birdcage buildings) or the newly re-opened balcony, each audience member will have a unique experience of Nevermore, as some things won’t be seen, only heard — which adds to the mystery of this series of fractured thoughts and broken dreams.
The cast of six, led by Pat Rundell as Edgar, brings Poe’s short stories and poems to life with powerful voices and authentic performances. Rundell, with a macabre twinkle in his eye and an often sinister smile on his face, convincingly conveyed Poe as he dealt with his demons; his passionate love of his 13-year-old first cousin Virginia (played by the not-so-innocent Stephanie Geehan), the loss of his mother (Sarah Carle), and his lust for the whore (Heather Jarvie).
The musical accompaniment by Steph Sartore is performed live but hidden out of sight, adding to the eeriness of the production.
As the 90-minute play progresses, Poe’s descent into madness accelerates as he becomes consumed by dark thoughts interspersed with brief moments of happiness, even joy. He eventually realizes he is beyond redemption and gives in to his desperation.
Nevermore digs deep into our subconscious and leaves the audience wondering about who we truly are and who we’ve chosen to become. M
Urban Arts Productions
Maritime Museum of B.C. Thurs. Nov.3 to Sat. Nov.5 at 8pm
Tickets $20 at urbanartsproductions.com