Chicky is the voice of reason in the play, seeming more aware of her environment than the rest. Matthews’ portrayal is understated, but runs deep. Chicky is tough, smart, but ultimately detached, her voice rarely above a rational, controlled tone. But she will survive it all, if not thrive in some small way. She is the tiny hope in the play.
Her emotional counterpoint is Clarence, whose only lifeline is a dangerous delusion that his dead son can be cloned and resurrected. Where no hope can be found, Clarence invents it. The character is so tragic, and portrayed by Labelle as a man whose every action is coloured by his uncontainable grief.
The world portrayed in Bone Cage is a bleak one, and the material is rich and complex, if not a little unfocused, with so many characters' emotional arcs demanding attention. But strong direction and powerful performances take the poetry of despair and make it sing.
Written by Catherine Banks
Directed by Jake Planinc
Presented by Matchstick Theatre
The Bus Stop Theatre
2203 Gottingen St.