Loosely based on the true story of the son of a Tory politician who killed himself after being extensively bullied, Touchstone Theatre’s Late Company imagines what a restorative justice dinner held a year later might have looked like between the parents of a dead gay son, his chief tormentor, and that boy’s parents.
As the show opens, Debora and Michael are second-guessing themselves and fussing with the napkins. Tamara and Bill arrive, late, with teenaged son Curtis in tow. No one wants to eat except Bill, no one wants to talk except Deb, Tamara is determined that this dinner will prove she is a good mother, and Michael still can’t say any of the things he feels about his son. And Curtis is a mystery.
The script of the play and its premiere production are the recipient of a number of awards, including the 2013 Best Production and Audience Choice Award at SummerWorks, the 2013 Herman Voaden Playwriting Competition, the 2012 Enbridge playRites Award, and the 2012 Uprising National Playwriting Competition.
Jordan Tannahill is a Canadian playwright, filmmaker, and theatre director described by the Toronto Star as “one of Canada’s most promising young independent theatre artists”. Through his company Suburban Beast, he has developed and presented plays at theatres including Buddies in Bad Times, Canadian Stage, Theatre Passe Muraille, and the Theatre Centre.
Jordan is the 2011 recipient of the Inside Out Film Festival’s Emerging Canadian Artist Award, the 2011 Ken McDougall Award for Emerging Directors, and the 2012 Enbridge playRites Award.
“If it takes a village to raise a child, then who’s to blame when one falls by the wayside? That’s the question lurking at the heart of Jordan Tannahill’s searing, unforgettable drama. There are no easy answers to be found here, only the shattered realities of two families struggling to put a terrible ordeal in the past.” ***** – Kevin Scott, Torontoist
Touchstone’s production is the West coast premiere and features four of Vancouver’s finest established stage actors and an exciting young talent on the rise.
Company favourite Kerry Sandomirsky (Haunted, How it Works, Life After God) tackles the central role of the grieving mother Debora, and Katharine Venour (True Love Lies, How it Works) returns to Touchstone to play the visiting Tamara.
Michael Kopsa (Whose Life Is It Anyway, Art) and Gerry Mackay (Equivocation, Cymbeline, August Osage County) play their respective mates. Recent Studio 58 graduate and Bard on the Beach season standout Daniel Doheny (The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) rounds out the cast as Curtis.
Directed by Touchstone’s Artistic Director Katrina Dunn, Late Company runs November 21 to 30 at The Cultch.
Touchstone Theatre Presents Late Company
Dates: November 21 to 30, 8 pm (Tuesdays to Sundays); matinees, November 22, 29, 2 pm; closing matinee, Sunday, November 30, 2 pm
Venue: Vancity Culture Lab at The Cultch, 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Available online and via phoning The Cultch box office at 604.251.1363
Photos by David Cooper.