Ambitious Plath Project is Moving
Written by suicidal poet, this production contains enough light to offset dark.
"Halifax actor Pascale Roger-McKeever has created a staged version of Three Women, introducing it with excerpts from Ariel and other poems, adding a dancer and a musician, and re-titling the production Innocent Souls. In this expanded version, but still only a little over an hour long, the play opened in The Space on Agricola Street Thursday night. It continues to Sunday.
With Andrea Dymond playing the First Woman, Roger-McKeever the Second Woman and Margaret Smith the Third, Innocent Souls partly parallels Plath's three pregnancies. The first, happiest of the three (Dymond), ended in the birth of Plath's daughter Frieda. The second, tragic and brutal (Roger-McKeever), ended in a miscarriage. The third ended in the birth of a son to an unwed mother (Smith) and, unlike Plath's son Nicholas, was given up for adoption.
The staging is simple. The pregnancy ward of the hospital is represented by green surgeon's coats, an awareness of doctors circulating. Spotlighting isolates each of the women as they enact their individual stories, Dymond radiantly happy as you would expect a new mother to be, Smith conflicted with tenderness and alienation.
The central scene, the miscarriage, focuses bitterness, despair, agony and hopelessness. It is highlighted by a simple but powerful device that colours the whole scene and, in fact, the whole play with a heart-stopping bit of stage magic. To say more would be to spoil the striking effect.
Innocent Souls is a moving production, not unremmittingly dark but full of light as well. At the end, Money's violin sums it up with the cheerful melody that Bach layers over one of his best known chorales, Wachet Auf (Sleepers, Awake).”
- Article by Stephen Pederson, The Chronicle Herald | Halifax, NS |
March 7th, 2009
Photographer: Darren Pittman