Victoria Fringe Festival 2017 – Life as a Pomegranate
Review by Chad Jarvie-Laidlaw – Showbill.ca Editorial Director
August 25, 2017
What inner voices should you follow? Should you cave to the pressures of mundane life, or should you follow your dreams wherever they take you? Dawna Wightman’s solo piece Life as a Pomegranate aims to explore these questions.
That’s not quite true; Pomegranate answers those questions with a cliché story that, while containing hints of emotional depth, skims along the surface of a what could have been a really good tale. Rosie, the main character, wants to be a professional actress (she tells the audience and others this repeatedly) but she’s forced into a dull life of chopping vegetables and watching TV by the forces of conformity. There’s no real dramatic tension as we watch her careen through her life like a perpetual seven-year-old, bumping into one-dimensional caricatures of people around her. Unsurprisingly, eventually, things work out.
Flummoxing the viewer is the fact that Wightman is a good actress and deftly pivots from one character to the next with great skill; her different characters are will defined in her voice and physicality. There is a great story hiding underneath Pomegranate, about an oppressive father, a coping mother, and dreams deferred for family. That may not be a particularly new story, but it’s a powerful one. Instead, what’s presented is the most generic “follow-your-dreams” story imaginable. Absolutely any other set of ambitions could be plugged in, and the play would unfold in exactly the same way.
THE BOTTOM LINE
In Life as a Pomegranate, Dawna Wightman shows off some impressive character skills, but is hamstrung by a frightfully generic plot.
Broads View Theatre Company
Created by Dawna Wightman
Victoria Fringe Festival
Venue 7 (Roxy Theatre)
- Aug 26 @ 4:45
- Aug 27 @ 5:30
- Aug 28 @ 8:00
- Sept 2 @ 8:15
- Sept 3 @ 2:15