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Friday, October 20, 2017

Frenzied havoc of ‘God of Carnage’


Redfox3 Theatre delivers all the frenzied havoc of Yasmina Reza’s award-winning play God of Carnage in a beautifully staged and thoroughly entertaining production.
The play opens on a discussion between two sets of parents forced to gather over an incident involving their children. What starts as rigid civility and feigned respect quickly (and hilariously) sinks into unkindness, savagery and ugliness as they reveal what they truly think of one another and the situation at hand.
The four actors are well cast here and do not disappoint. Though initially, emotions portrayed feel mismatched and a lightning-fast pace smothers words and extinguishes subtext, somehow the awkward tension is there. Soon the actors find their rhythm and the entertainment explodes.
Rhiannon Leach as Annette and Tuilyn Shannon as Veronica are delightfully animated, particularly once they become unsettled. Stephen Shinkfield is superbly frustrating as the ill-mannered, workaholic Alan and manages a subtlety of humour that catches by surprise. Adrian Carr as Michael is outstanding. With the biggest character journey to make, Carr moves very successfully through starting nonchalant then going bananas.
Reza’s play is really a tour of many universal themes: parenthood; marriage; masculinity and femininity in the eyes of the other; alliances and interconnections; polite society and Western cultural ideals; humanitarian vs custodian; and more. Each of these is hungrily explored in this production.
The set is full of striking animal images, statues, and prints, a firm nod to the chaotic safari tour the audience embark upon (in the guise of self-proclaimed humanitarian Veronica’s home décor, a woman who has “steeped” herself in Africa “for months!”).
Beautiful staging by director Justin Stephens captures the raw goodness of God of Carnage in a visually enticing way from start to finish. I really look forward to Redfox3 Theatre’s next production also being directed by Stephens.
– Review by Deborah Marinaro

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