Deceptions run amok in The Communication Cord when Tim starts with a simple lie to his prospective father-in-law – that he owns a house in a quaint little Irish hamlet – that quickly spirals completely out of his control.
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Learn a bit more about The Communication Cord here in our early look at the show.
For official show details including showtimes, hit up the Gladstone’s official website.
What did you think? Who had you laughing the hardest during The Communication Cord? Tell us in the comments below.
And for those who prefer to take things in in print form, here’s the review script:
Brian Friel’s farce, The Communication Cord starts with a simple enough set-up. Jack has a home and property in a small Irish village that’s been in his family forever. To help his buddy Tim earn favour with his girlfriend Susan’s history-loving and country-life enamored father, Jack agrees to “lend” Tim his house for an hour when Susan and her dad are passing through the area on their way to a big social function. Like I said, simple.
Except that Tim’s a high-strung academic who’s nervous and not really comfortable about going through with the plan of pretending the house is his. So from the moment Susan and her father show up, things spiral hilariously out of control as Tim starts feeding everybody a different story, and then fights to keep his deception from unraveling completely.
SevenThirty Production’s presentation of The Communication Cord at The Gladstone is a lot of fun. When it’s in its groove, it’s laugh upon laugh upon laugh. While this is a big chunk of the play, there are a couple scenes, particularly the opening, that were slow and even a bit plodding compared to the rest. It’s these scenes that keep The Communication Cord from being beginning to end hilarious and to be honest, almost every one of the scenes that didn’t work featured the character of Jack, played by Tim Oberholzer. His acting wasn’t bad per se, but the characterization felt off.
The other cast members ranged from fine to good but where things get awesome starts with Michelle Leblanc as Claire. Claire is an old flame to Tim who’s been staying in Jack’s house — the one Tim is pretending is his — and in Leblanc’s super-talented hands, she was perfectly convincing and a joy to watch almost every second she was playfully tormenting Tim on stage.
But it was Steve Martin, playing the role of the German and barely English speaking Barney the Banks who stole the show. Every movement he made, every word out of his mouth — even a complete lack of either in one scene — was laugh out loud funny.
Taking on the lead role of Tim is David Whitely. Whitely is a talented actor and despite a slow opening scene — a scene with the Jack character — Whitely does a great job bringing frantic Tim to life and it was fun to watch his mental state slowly and then quickly unravel along with his deceptions.
The laughs, many and many of them, are there in SevenThirty Production’s presentation of the Communication Cord. You can see it at the Gladstone until April 15th.
Poster provided by SevenThirty Productions.
Video production courtesy of Valley Wind Productions, produced by Allan Mackey.
*Disclosure: On camera reviewer, Meghan Murphy, was not able to attend The Communication Cord. The review was written by Allan Mackey who left the on camera presentation to a professional.