One rainy afternoon at the Lawrence’s I came across an old copy of John Steinbeck’s 1930’s novel ‘Of Mice and Men’. It is a story of friendship set in a world of despair, lonliness and poverty, sometimes comic but also tragic as a number of the charaters deal with their own isolation and loss.
When Simon and I saw that it was playing in Calgary and a colleague of mine (whose husband is the performing arts editor for the Calgary Herald) said it was good we booked tickets for Thursday night’s performance. After some great fish and chips in the front parlour of Alexander Keith’s Irish Pub we headed to the Max Bell Theatre. Unlike the Saddledome, Simon and I thought this venue was great. The layout was such that whilst we were four rows from the front had we got tickets in say the balcony they still would have been great.
As for the play, it was fantastic. The set was brilliant, with many of the set changes conducted under dim lights by the actors adding to the feeling that you were on a working farm and also giving the audience the opportunity to see how clever the set design was. The actors captured the tension of Steinbeck’s novel and whilst I knew the story I felt like I was taking the emotional journey for the first time. In particular I enjoyed the roles played by some of the supporting characters who added comic relief but also emphasised some of the important issues covered in the script. For those who know the story I thought Candy’s character was great. Without going into too much detail and spoiling it for those who wish to read the novel, the closing scene was very dramatic, I know I walked out of the theatre a little shakey. Simon and I are now on the lookout for our next live performance, probably in Toronto.