Mar 20

Vertigo Theatre’s ‘Travels with my Aunt’ is an enjoyable tale

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

Post image for Vertigo Theatre’s ‘Travels with my Aunt’ is an enjoyable tale

Graham Greene wrote Travels with my Aunt, his novel, just for fun. Then Giles Havergal adapted it for the stage, with four actors able to interchange in the roles and it became a fun little play.

In Vertigo Theatre’s case, the four actors are Stephen Hair, Braden Griffiths, Christopher Hunt and Michael Tan. They switch characters on stage at a quick pace, and it’s all kept seamless by their narration of the story. Not only do they act the part, they also narrate who they are, so that the audience can keep everything straight. It’s a quality that is a little irritating at first, as the beauty of theatre is in the showing, rather than the telling, but as the narrative progresses, you get used to the characters narrating their way through it.

The play tells of Henry Pulling and his Aunt Augusta, who jumps back into his life after the death of his mother. From here they spend a lot of time together traveling and it becomes abundantly clear that Augusta is leading a criminal life and is thriving in it. Augusta’s life is quite exciting compared to Henry’s and he can’t help but be drawn in by her.

The ensemble is certainly talented and it is quite nice to see Hair as the extravagant Augusta. Hunt and Griffiths are comical and switch roles seamlessly. Tan shines in his roles, striking a balance between fun and serious. He’s really great to watch.

It’s played on an intricately design stage by Anton De Groot, who has all aspects of the stage as suitcases, some that open some that don’t. These all form components of doors and shelves. It’s very well done and well thought out. De Groot uses a luggage trolley in place of vehicles that the actors sit on and move themselves, which makes for great comical fun.

Travels with my Aunt is a story well told by four talented actors, but it doesn’t really have a dramatic drive. There is mystery within the narrative, but it doesn’t really matter. Just enjoy the telling of the story.

Travels with my Aunt runs at Vertigo Mystery Theatre until April 6th. More information is available online.

Photo: Christopher Hunt and Stephen Hair
Credit: Benjamin Laird

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