; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: Common Grace

Monday, 1 February 2016

Common Grace

Review by Roxanne Kalenborn

You know how when you’re at Ikea, minding your own business picking out a new bathmat, when all of a sudden, the couple in bathroom fixtures starts arguing about whether to get brass or steel towel holders? LOUDLY? And you know the fight’s not actually about the choice between steel or brass. And you KNOW you’re not supposed to eavesdrop, but at the same time you want to grab a bucket of popcorn and enjoy the show? That’s how I felt for most of the world-premiere of Common Grace at Pacific Theatre. And I loved it.

Common Grace is the story of a family reeling from the death of their beloved father, and the ways that grief can force families to come to terms with long hidden secrets and the conflicts that get swept under the rug. Colleen, played by Shauna Johannesen [also the playwright (!)], arrives home for her father’s funeral after a hasty move to Edmonton to start afresh after finding herself in the middle of a romantic conflict. What happens during her time back is a good reminder to us all that you can run away from home, but your problems will still be right where you left them. This play was a wonderful reflection on the nature of grief, thwarted desire, and what happens when you’re forced to confront just what you turned your back on.

Common Grace is playing at Pacific Theatre through February 14.

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