Reviews - Fringe 2009

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

By Tom Mackan
Published July 18, 2009

By John Patrick Shanley
Featuring Jamie Maczko and Kaitlin Janisse (From 2009 Smash Theatre Productions, Toronto)

Hamiltonians should make every effort to see this fascinating production of Shanley's love story. That's what it is, a love story, deconstructed really, from the lofty language-fests of Romeo and Juliet, say, and down through the masterpieces of Jane Austen, and filtering down again into American movies, Spencer and Hepburn, that enormous wealth of words and wit that make up the canon of it all...

What Shanley has done is lowered us into the wasteland of language, the late night bar or roadhouse, the territory of incoherent Americana: two people, a man and a woman, emerging from a muck of inarticulate emotion. All physical, all grunt and rude vulgarity, where feelings have no words to form, no poetry on which to ride.

We are riveted by two startlingly fine performances. Maczko and Janisse bring their characters to cautious life in finely tuned and measured delivery. With knuckles raw from scraping through his life, Danny is humanly driven to Roberta, whose raped emotional life moans for assurance.

Shanley only gradually allows their language to find the faintest drop of poetry, and we hope and hope that it will be enough to nourish love. Do try to see what happens when love searches for more than suck and fuck in its language.


Tom Mackan is Publisher and editor of NEWZY BITZ, an online Community Theatre newsletter in the GHA, with over 200 subscribers. He is a Member of the Board, Theatre Burlington; an actor and director in GHA Community Theatre for fifty years; winner of over 25 awards and citations in the Western Ontario region and beyond; recipient of 2007 City of Hamilton Arts Award (Theatre); a Graduate of Canadian Theatre School (Sterndale Bennett) Toronto, 1955; and a retired teacher of English and Drama in public and private schools in the GHA and abroad.

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By Fringe President (registered) - website | Posted July 18, 2009 at 11:22:26

What a fine and articulate review of an excellent production!

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