Review: The Boat

Poetry and the sea.

click to enlarge Jon De Leon, Stephanie MacDonald, Ron Kennell and Graham Percy in The Boat. - TIMOTHY RICHARD
Timothy Richard
Jon De Leon, Stephanie MacDonald, Ron Kennell and Graham Percy in The Boat.

The writing of beloved Nova Scotian author Alistair MacLeod is steeped in the poetry of Cape Breton fisherman and the sensual world of its hardworking men and their families. Playwright Ryan Griffith manages the feat of translating MacLeod’s specific world to the stage, and does so, miraculously, while avoiding the pitfalls of many literary stage adaptations. In Griffith’s hands, combined with the evocative direction of Thomas Morgan Jones, The Boat becomes a memory play. It allows room for the poetry of MacLeod’s language, and a timeline that jumps seamlessly from the past to the present, telling the story of deep-rooted family traditions passing through generations. The impeccable cast is led by Ron Kennell, who effortlessly transitions from narrator to young teenager captivated by his father’s life on the sea. Jon De Leon plays the archetypal stoic but compassionate father with depth and grace, while Stephanie MacDonald plays the mother as a strong anchor who is fiercely proud and protective of her family. The Boat is a beautifully told local story that is not to be missed.

The Boat
By Alistair MacLeod
Adapted by Ryan Griffith
Directed by Thomas Morgan Jones
Presented by Theatre New Brunswick
Featuring Ron Kennell, Jon De Leon, Stephanie MacDonald and Graham Percy
Runs until April 9th
Neptune Theatre Studio Theatre

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