In Marion Bridge, three sisters are united under the same roof in the final days of their mother’s life. Despite the trying circumstances, comedy ensues.
Should You See It?
What the audience thinks of Marion Bridge?
Under the direction of Bronwyn Steinberg, the Three Sisters Theatre Company delivers Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor’s Marion Bridge, a play about three sisters who reconvene to be with their dying mother. Don’t let the subject matter colour your expectations – this play is not about grieving for a mother on her deathbed; it’s about facing the present head-on and finding peace with the past. It is also a comedy rather than a drama, with witty banter and colourful characters and sparse sentiment.
In the kitchen, which acts as the setting for the majority of the play, conversation flows freely between the three sisters. Partly through recollection of memories and partly through conflict, the past that is affecting their present is revealed. Each sister is their own person, yet it becomes clear each has been shaped by the sibling dynamic. And each sister has her own inner-struggle – struggles that are entirely relatable: loss of faith, suffocating regret and an overwhelming desire to belong.
Robin Guy, Shawna Pasini and Cindy Beaton were entirely convincing as the MacKeigan sisters, with an on-stage chemistry that kept me engaged. Despite some frequent line blunders (which I have no doubt will be smoothed over in subsequent shows), the acting was believable and the caring between the sisters came off as entirely legitimate.
The scene transitions were subtle and handled very well. The flow of the piece was also impressive. The first 60 minutes flew by so quickly that, during intermission, audience members were murmuring their surprise. Unfortunately, the second half felt as if it dragged a bit.
Although Marion Bridge deals with some heavy themes, the play is ultimately lighthearted with a tongue-in-cheek tone I very much appreciated.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you think. Were you impressed with the portrayal of the MacKeigan sisters? Did you enjoy their witty banter? Let us know in the comments section below!