Concord Floral, a rundown greenhouse on the outskirts of Hunt Club, is the local teenage hang out. It’s abandoned, dangerous and perhaps a little haunted, which is enough of a draw to make it the place to go for parties, hookups or to just hang out if one has snuck out past their curfew. This dilapidated building holds secrets of its own and hosts a number of haunted, if not haunting, characters.
When two teenagers out on a quest for late night McFlurry’s stop to smoke a joint in Concord Floral one accidently drops their phone down a two-storey well and discovers a body at the bottom. The phone forgotten the girls leave in a panic. The mystery begins. Late night phone calls from this ghostly individual starts to panic one of the girls to the point of pure paranoia and perhaps even delusional psychosis, all the while, the rest of the world keeps on spinning.
The show was intriguing. I was curious about where the mystery of what happened at Concord Floral was going to end up and this intrigue was furthered by an astonishingly strong cast of young actors. The 10 person cast is made up of teens themselves anywhere between the ages of 16-19. There was no weak actor amongst the group and I’m sure we’ll hear many of their names again in the future, especially Franco Pang, who I wish had been utilized more throughout this production because of how well he provided a whimsical levity to a dark and heavy play.
Tremendous acting aside Concord Floral just never really felt like it figured out what it wanted to be. At one point Concord Floral is playing itself off as a perfect X-Files ‘creature of the week’ episode, minus Scully and Mulder of course, and the next thing it’s become a moral crusade for how humans are a very destructive force against nature. A few beats later and suddenly the whodunit and the mystery, which had kept me engaged and wanting to uncover more and more of what really happened at Concord Floral becomes seemingly unimportant and the story becomes an anti-bullying campaign. In all of this, the story of Concord Floral becomes a disjointed Stand By Me without any real journey of discovery.
Concord Floral is a simple performance full of great talent. The young cast, the sound cues, the lighting. It was set up and directed in a way that is visually captivating and makes the audience thirst for more. Unfortunately it’s a play with a story that just tries too hard to be too many different things and ultimately waters down what could have, and should, have been, an amazing production.
Concord Floral runs at The National Arts Centre English Theatre until April 9, 2016. Get your tickets, or more information about the play, here.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d like to know what you think. What did you think of the story and how it progressed from beginning to end? What did you think of this young cast? Were you satisfied with the conclusion of this play? Join the discussion in the comments below.