- A Beautiful View by Daniel MacIvor – June 2018
- Directed by Heather Jarvie
“A Beautiful View”
Review by Kiana Karimkhani for Showbill Canada
“A Beautiful View” is a pithy two-hander, written by acclaimed Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor and directed by Heather Jarvie. It details the interactions of two women, M (Ingrid Moore) and L (Rachel Myers), over their 20-year friendship.
In experimental style, the play unfolds episodically; the women first meet in their 20’s at a sporting goods store and then continue to run into each other until a genuine friendship ensues. They’re both chatty oddballs, who could be described as loners, though both seem eager to be a part of something (and inextricably drawn towards each other).
At first, each thinks the other is a lesbian (though it’s later confirmed neither is), which makes their underlying sexual tension more interesting. One night after drinking (and much philosophizing) they sleep together and then bolt the next morning, but what chance do they have against kismet? They bump into each other soon after while camping (a notable refrain), and their friendship persists.
Throughout the 60-minute play, the characters narrate their story directly to the audience and sometimes re-enact it, which can be comical and complicated and beautiful (particularly when a guitar is strummed and a song is softly sung). In retelling their stories, the characters repackage the truth of what happened, but what is undeniably truthful is their bond. At the end, in a final reunion, they tell of an unexpected moment in which they were brought together by fear.
In it’s simplicity, the play focuses on the characters and their contemplations, explores the themes of love, friendship, and the what and why’s of life. Under the design of Chad Laidlaw, the stage is bare but for minimal props and lighting. The actresses do well under the focused light, and if not for strong performances, the piece would undoubtedly wither.
M and L are both referred to by the other as “her” on stage, which made deciphering who was who difficult (which is, perhaps, the point and matters less on stage than now, when allocating the right description to the proper actress). In a way, it doesn’t matter—both actresses are captivating and their characters are almost interchangeable, in a sense; it’s their connection that defines them. A credit to hapax theatre, “A Beautiful View,” is quirky, tender, and cozy in it’s staging.
The propinquity of the two women in “A Beautiful View” makes for a charming play about the blurred lines in friendship, as in life.