Reviewed by Paula Citron
Everything about the world premiere of A Boy Called Newfoundland is quirky which is part of the play’s charm.
The story is about a 15-year-old boy who tries desperately to keep his eccentric and dysfunctional family together. Newfoundland was presumably conceived in that province, hence his name, and inspired colour-blind casting has put the very talented Patrick Kwok-Choon in the role. In fact, the whole cast is terrific.
Graeme Gillis’ whimsical script is at once ironic and satirical. My only quibble is the play should be edited down to one long go. The intermission and a weaker second act blunts the impact.
Robin Fisher’s delightful set is full of surprises as hidden compartments are constantly being revealed. Ashlie Corcoran’s astute and feather-light direction captures both the fun and the angst of this family.
This play is tender-hearted and sentimental which isn’t a bad thing in this mean streets age.
A Boy Called Newfoundland continues at the Tarragon Extra Space until Apr. 11.
A Boy Called Newfoundland
Written by Graeme Gillis
Directed by Ashlie Corcoran
Starring Martha Burns, Lara Jean Chorostecki, Layne Coleman, Vivien Endicott-Douglas, Natasha Greenblatt, Martin Happer and Patrick Kwok-Choon
Tarragon Extra Space, Mar. 26 to Apr. 11, 2010