Justin Francis Lee as Anthony, and Jesse Deutscher as Caroline keep the audience captivated as their characters slowly build a common bond through the literature of Walt Whitman, in Langham Court Theatre’s production of I and You. Photo by Jason King

REVIEW: Langham’s ‘I and You’ will command your attention

Two-actor play about the development of an unlikely friendship one of Langham Court’s best

REVIEW: I and You

Langham Court Theatre

It’s a typical modern scene: a teenager’s messy room, dominated by today’s electronic accoutrements. One somewhat sullen young woman, whose name is Caroline.

Enter Anthony, a shy and apologetic young man, who has come to engage Caroline in a school project – an analysis of Walt Whitman’s poetic self-portrait. Caroline wants him to go away and leave her in misery over having a serious illness. Somehow he persists, and Caroline slowly emerges from her self-absorption, and enters into the spirit of the poem.

Justin Francis Lee is wonderful as Anthony, handling the challenging role of the perfect straight-A student deftly. Jesse Deutscher engages our empathy, despite being hostile and difficult at first. As the dialogue continues, we see a relationship develop, and it totters forward to become a fragile and uncertain friendship.

Barbara Clerihue, who designed the set, admits she based Caroline’s room on her own daughter’s “hovel.” Jason King does a superb job with projections and sound. Director John Han carefully guides the actors, so that their relationship develops slowly and haltingly, which leaves the audience cheering from the sidelines. There is also something significant in the way Caroline keeps tidying up her room, which feels as if she might be clearing a path, not only through the space but also through her mind, to connect with Anthony.

I and You has to be close to the top of the list of excellent plays produced at Langham Court. Playwright Laura Gunderson has managed to make every word count, including those by Walt Whitman, which are instrumental in making the two characters come to terms with their lives. The surprising twist near the end resulted in a collective gasp from the audience on opening night. At 90 minutes with no intermission, this is a tight show which commands attention. It runs until March 14. Do not delay – visit langhamtheatre.ca or call call 250-384-2142 for your tickets.



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Langham Court TheatreLive theatre

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

Just Posted

The Lonely singer reaches out and gives back, with online birthday show

Michael Demers sharing a musical chat tonight at 8 p.m. on Facebook

Trio of rock shows rescheduled for Alix Goolden Hall

Bowie tribute show, Martin Barre’s Jethro Tull show and Tommy Emmanuel all booked for late fall

Province announces $3M in funding for arts groups hit by COVID-19 crisis

BC Arts Council to administer support for both organizations and individual artists

Opera from a social distance: Taking it to the web

Pacific Opera Victoria launching two weekly podcasts to educate and stay in touch with listeners

Victoria Quarantunes playlist encourages support for struggling artists

Victoria brewpub creates local playlist after restaurant closes in response to COVID-19

Netflix reducing video quality in Canada to lower Internet bandwidth use

Bell Media is also planning traffic measures affecting the Crave streaming service

Will the show go on? B.C. music festivals consider options for 2020

Summer events running out of time to stay on schedule, in wake of COVID-19 uncertainties

Relief fund for Canadian performing artists gets $100,000 boost from foundation

Facebook started the fund with a first $100,000 donation last week

Henley, Tucker, Cyrus and others mourn the death of Rogers

Country music icon remembered as a crossover pioneer, a supporter of young artists

Self-isolating? National Film Board of Canada has over 4,000 free films online

A wide range of documentaries, animated films and short films are on the NFB website

Music industry feeling the effects of COVID-19 pandemic

Island musicians, promoters and producers alike reeling from cancellations, venue bans

Joseph Blake: 10 amazing CDs to explore in our COVID-19 isolation

Longtime music writer shares his favourite records from his vast collection

Most Read