Sunday, February 3, 2013

Underneath the Lintel is a masterpiece

Friday night we went up to the Tir Na Nog theatre school where Kingbaby Productions was mounting a new play, Underneath The Lintel.  David Cameron plays a Dutch librarian whose charming character seems firmly stuck in the middle of the 20th century.  Starting with a book that is returned 113 years overdue, the librarian becomes obsessed with a series of small clues that convince him he is on the trail of the legendary Wandering Jew.

I have seen David in probably 10 productions over the years and this is my favourite character.  The play has an edge of magical realism that requires the audience to be drawn in close.  the Librarian does this like a magician with intrigue and the slow exposition of the long chain of clues and evidence he has uncovered.  One by one small curios are produced from a trunk which move the story along from one improbable connection to the next.

As the story unfolds and goes deeper though, you begin to peer into the Librarians heart, and see the petty obsessions he holds, the regrets, the joys and the well meant intentions that have marked a life that culminates in this search.  David is magnificent at pulling us in, having spent months growing a proper vandyke goatee and hanging around Thuys Dhont, one of Bowen's ubiquitous Dutch ex pats.

The production runs next weekend as well, and then Kingbaby aim to tour the play on the Fringe circuit this year.  Go and see it if you can.  Even if you live in Vancouver, the play is over in time for you to return on the last ferry.  It's worth the trip to Bowen.