Rather like a cold shower, Githa Sowerby’s unpublished A Man and Some Women dramatically toned down the opening week festivities at the Shaw Festival. For just over two hours the uneven script (laced with an overabundance of clichés—“Because I love you I can’t go with you” etc.—lumbered along its unsteady path before finally ending rather than concluding.
To a person, the cast did as much as they could with the material and director Alisa Palmer’s sympathetic staging, but even that display of talent and skill could not prevent a few patrons from nodding off.
Graeme Somerville as Richard Shannon represented the adult male with stoic sincerity and steadfast desire; Jordan Hilliker was a properly puzzled young boy. Of the women, Marla McLean was the shining artistic light enduring the scorn (and not a little bit of jealousy) from Richard’s wife and sisters (Jenny L. Wright, Kate Hennig and Sharry Flett). More than Richard’s infidelity, the three “helpless”—financially—relations were generally far more concerned with their possible inheritance than the propriety of adultery under their delicate noses.
Seems the happiest one of the lot had just been put to rest while the remainder had to—somehow—go on living.
‘Nuff said. JWR