The Arts

Soulpepper 2009 – David French's Of the Fields, Lately

Soulpepper 2009 – David French's Of the Fields, Lately featured image

reviewed by Paula Citron
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Of the Fields, Lately
Soulpepper
Written by David French
Directed by Ted Dykstra
At the Young Centre until Jul. 30

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The Soulpepper production of David French’s Of the Fields, Lately is outstanding.

Diane D’Aquila, Kenneth Welsh and Jeff Lillico from Leaving Home are repeating their roles as Mary and Jacob Mercer and their son Ben respectively. Eric Peterson joins them as Uncle Wiff. There has never been a better cast.

The Mercer family from Newfoundland lives in Toronto burdened with interpersonal conflicts. This play is about Ben coming home from Regina, ostensively for his Aunt Dot’s funeral, but his return brings the simmering family tensions to the surface.

Right from the start, director Ted Dykstra ramps up the tension by highlighting all the play’s minefields. The actors hold nothing back as a result, no matter how their characters may try. The home truths revealed are universal.

This production is a triumph of kitchen sink literary reality, and is a searing emotional rollercoaster for both the characters and the audience.

Of the Fields, Lately continues at the Young Centre until Jul. 30.

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