Theatre Review: Einstein and the Polar Bear

Theatre Review: Einstein And The Polar Bear

Bill, escaping his former life hides in his remote house/book shop, caring for his ageing father. Diane is stranded in a blizzard. Add a mechanic and his wife, and a mysterious Polar Bear.

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Allison Scharber and Adam Tuominen in 'Einstein and the Polar Bear'
Allison Scharber and Adam Tuominen in ‘Einstein and the Polar Bear’

Presented by St Jude’s Players
Reviewed 6 Aug 2015

Dave Simms always seems to find really interesting scripts to direct and this one by Tom Griffin is no exception. It’s not really a drama and you couldn’t class it as a comedy, but it has elements of both. The lead character, Bill, is escaping his former life by hiding in his house/book shop in a remote community and caring for his ageing father. There is a blizzard outside and not only has Diane’s car broken down but her phone has no reception. Add Bill’s helpful friend, a mechanic and his wife who have marital problems, a mysterious Polar Bear and the scene is set.

Adam Tuominen plays Bill with great skill and understanding. He is a successful writer avoiding his fans, his writing, all whilst wallowing in misery after the death of his wife. Bill is caring for Andrew who has limited conversation, but once met Einstein. Norm Caddick brings him to life beautifully, but maybe that is the wrong phrase to use, as Caddick has you almost believing that Andrew has left this life and at other times that he is so annoying that he will outlive them all. The relationship between these two characters is familiar and the love and tolerance for a father who is deteriorating shines through.

At the beginning there is a reserve between Bill and Dianne, played by Allison Scharber, which is replaced by a tentative, but feisty, exchange of enquiries which both avoid answering. Despite this, a relationship develops but neither is telling the entire story. These experienced players skilfully bring the chemistry between these two characters to the audience.

Peter Davies inhabits the role of Charlie, the helpful friend, with pedantic optimism: everything is all right, or will be. Andrew Horwood’s character Bobby is introduced to us before he appears on stage, by reputation through Charlie, but like most things, there is more to it. Horwood is totally believable in the role, as is Shelley Hampton as his seemly-duped wife Helen. It is hard to find any fault with the cast. Simms has done a great job of finding the right people for the job.

The set was impressive and meticulously dressed. Dave Simms has provided the ideal set and the lighting, with Leigh Wheatley’s aid and operation, complements the whole atmosphere. This is a strong production, which has it all, laughs, tears, and some brilliant acting. Don’t miss this one.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue: St Jude’s Hall 444 Brighton Rd
Season: 6 Aug -15 Aug
Duration: 2hr 20mins
Tickets: Adult $20, Conc. $16, child $7
BookingsSt Jude’s Players Official Web Site

 

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