“5`50 celebrates dysfunction” review by Alena Slabenko
Story by Brad Fraser. Directed by Cameron Mackenzie. Produced by Ruby Slippers Theatre and Zee Zee Theatre. Presented at Pal Theatre starting May, 13th till May 28th.
Zee Zee Theatre is known for its focus on human interactions in plays and 5`50 is not an exception. The story tells us about five friends who have known each other since high school. They are all turning 50 during the play. The main character Olivia, played by Deborah Williams, turned out being alcoholic and abuse her friends both mentally and physically. The plot infolds character`s true sides and appears to be a disturbing drama.
Deborah Williams delivers a high level of theatrical skills. You will have a mix of feelings for her character. You may be scared, feel a pity and even cry during her parts. I could not believe that a happy wife and mother in real life could play such a bold role. She manages to stay faithful to her part. Deborah is 100% Olivia without any doubt.
Olivia`s friends Fern (played by Donna Yamamoto), Tricia (played by Veena Sood) and Lorene (played by Diane Brown) are trying to send Olivia into rehab. They truly care about her, but Norma doesn like the idea of losing her partner even for a couple of months. Norma, who is represented by Beatrice Zeilinger, is a queit, non-emotional character. During the whole two hours of the play I was trying to get inside her mind, but could not. Was it the script itself or not a good role delivery – I have no answer. I can only tell that she is selfish and her love for Olivia is based on control. Norma likes Olivia being alcoholic and this fact made me hate Norma. I personally cannot even imagine a love like this.
Unexpectedly, the play is filled with small monologues delivered by each woman. These tiny acts reveal their darkest secrets. The lights are always shady and there is no music – only words, which may have a great emotional impact on you. For example, Olivia`s speech about her father made me cry. Moreover, I was impressed by the fact that each of the lady had a story to share, which other friends had no idea about. I was asking myself, “How can you be friends with someone since high school and not trusting them?”. It made me rethink my presonal interactions with people: how we lose trust, how we fight and our actions afterwards. The main question I asked myself with the help of the play was if I had true friends at all.
The story also has a lot of humour and surprisingly it is a dirty humour. You will be shocked by jokes like: “He puts the cock into Caucasian” and “I would blow a monkey for a bourbon”. Therefore, be prepare to laugh as well!
Overall, it is a deep, though provoking play, but if you are emotional and touchy person like me I may not recommend to watch it – I was under impression for a few days.