Mar 30

Lunchbox Theatre’s In On it is simple yet complex

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

Daniel McIvor, the playwright, loves telling multiple stories at the same time and In On It isn’t any different. Lunchbox Theatre has cast Artistic Director Mark Bellamy and Stafford Perry in this simple yet complex drama. It’s a show that keeps your attention as it tells three stories with a theme of life and death that winds its way through it.

The play opens with This One (Mark Bellamy) telling the audience a story that plays within the realm of what if. What if you’re driving in a car and you’re changing the radio stations and in that split second, and the car crashes to the sound of opera music. That One (Stafford Perry) then comes in asking Bellamy if that’s really how he wants to start the play. They then launch into a story about Ray, who has recently been told that he is sick. His wife is having an affair and is leaving him. And in between all these scenes, Bellamy and Perry have their own relationship on stage that they are struggling through.

In On It is at time confusing. There are so many elements of each story that is connected to the next. Director Samantha MacDonald has made sure that the stories can be told unencumbered. There is simple staging, with both Bellamy and Perry standing in different lighting design. There are only chairs on stage as props. Bellamy and Perry wear the same shirt and tie and keep switching jackets.

Both Bellamy’s and Perry’s performances should be applauded. They are steady in each and every role they play. Bellamy especially goes through a full range of emotions.

The play feels like it has a little too self-examination at times, as it occasionally too preoccupied with telling a story within a story. At some point, Bellamy pulls out the poster for In On It and examines how he looks in it. They talk about how This One has been improvising and writing a play for this very audience because they were waiting. It ties into the theme of waiting to live or waiting to die that McIvor pulls through the narrative. But the telling is a bit too focused on being complicated and intricate that it loses its audience occasionally.

Lunchbox Theatre’s production of In On It runs until April 9th. More information is available online.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Laird Arts & Photos

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