Powerful Pool (No Water)
splashes into town
Persephone Productions presents Mark Ravenhill’s play at the Segal Centre’s studio space
By Byron Toben
September 13, 2022
In 1921 (99 years ago), Luigi Pirandello wrote his landmark play, Six Characters In Search of An Author. That thought flitted through my mind as I viewed British playwright Mark Ravenhill’s short but powerful play Pool (No Water) as a guest appearance by Persephone Productions at the Segal Centre’s studio space.
In a sense, the play might be dubbed Six Actors in Search of a Rationalization. An original group of seven young talented actors had bonded together while developing but only one had hit the big time, enabling her to own a palatial estate, complete with multi bedrooms, a tennis court and a swimming pool.
The successful one invited her six comrades for a reunion at her place, replete with a midnight party. Congratulations are in order, yet suppressed envy underlies – the hostess’s curved smile is interpreted as a cross between the Mona Lisa and the Cheshire cat. She smiles at us – we are good people but she thinks we are small people – underlies their musings.
The midnight Champagne revelries are dramatically cut short when the hostess dives into the glorious pool, forgetful that it lacks water, with disastrous consequences. The guests exhibit dismay but resolve to use the disaster to their advantage, by making a play out of this event.
Directed by Persephone’s new co-artistic directors, Leila Ghaemi and Rebecca Gibian, on a bare stage except for two benches, it uses lots of moving about and, in one interval, strobe lighting to augment the dialogues.
The midnight Champagne revelries are dramatically cut short when the hostess dives into the glorious pool, forgetful that it lacks water, with disastrous consequences.
The six are Persephone veteran Lucas DiTecco, Dawson theatre grad Audrey-Shana Ferus, National Theatre School grads Rosemarie Sabor and David Noel, 2020 META award winner Dakota Jamal Wellman and London-trained Thomas Vallières.
Credit must also be given to the now retired Founder and Artistic Director of Persephone Productions, Gabrielle Soskin, who has produced many significant shows over the years and enabled the group to continue newly energized.
Pool (No Water) continues at the Segal studio until September 15.
Images: courtesy of Persephone Productions / Segal Centre
Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been WestmountMag.ca’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.
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