Company: BullPen Productions, Montreal, QC
Venue: 7 - The Cinematheque
The performance is captivating but not necessarily enjoyable to watch.
I walked into the bright, half empty Cinematheque to see an old, grey haired, sad looking woman sitting on the stage. She was tapping her fingers looking angry and lost.
The effect was unnerving yet made me feel protective. It was an emotional response, because of course, I knew that this was Doreen, the star of Field & Flight
Thus is the greatest feat of creator and performer Katherine Turnbull, she has become Doreen. Every squint of her eye, twitch of her mouth has been crafted to evoke the spirit of an elderly woman, facing dementia and mortality in a nursing home.
The performance is captivating but not necessarily enjoyable to watch. In part, this is its purpose, to be a sad commentary on how we treat the elderly and the difficult business of aging with a mental illness.
However, the repetition of words, phrases and even entire segments of the script, used to convey Doreen's state of mind, was dull by the 15 minute mark. Despite Turnbull's stellar performance this performance lacked momentum.