Neil Adams and Esther Maloney in Criminals in Love

Thursday Theatre Review: Criminals in Love


Criminals in Love seems to me like one of those quintessential Canadian pieces. Not because there is anything particularly Canadian about the content, just because when you think of Canadian theatre this show, and other works by George F. Walker, seem to come to mind. Or, maybe it's just me...

Nonetheless, I am always excited to see Canadian works on the stage, and that much more excited when they're done well. Which is the case with the production of Criminals in Love currently running at Hart House Theatre.

The website describes the show pretty accurately as "... a fast paced dark aggressive Comedy. When two young lovers become intertwined in a two-bit criminal plan gone wrong they find themselves in a most unlikely set of scenarios with an even more unlikely alliance of accomplices." Basically, it's a comedy with overtones of seriousness. Which makes it about perfect for me. I like to be able to laugh, but I also like to have something that lingers, something that I think about later.

I had two show partners for this one, my mother and my partner John both came with me. We all enjoyed the show immensely. When I asked my mother what her favourite thing about the show she said "the show itself", she liked the whole thing.

There were also some wonderful moments that were favourites for all three of us, including an exchange between Sandy (Evelyn Wiseman) and Wineva (Annemieke Wade) about Sandy's ambitious attitude, and a single word, perfectly delivered by Peter Higginson as William (in case you're wondering, the word is bladder, but you really have to see it to appreciate it).

I also loved the energy on stage. The interplay between the actors was really a joy to watch. In fact, for me, that's what this show was about - the interactions of people, the way the characters, and the actors playing those characters interacted.

The bottom line is this is a solid production and certainly worth the cost of admission. So, if you're itching for some Cancon that isn't full of Canadiana this is the show for you.

Details

- Criminals in Love is at Hart House Theatre (7 Hart House Circle, University of Toronto)
- The show runs for two weeks, January 16 to 26 with shows Wednesday to Saturday at 8pm, there is also a 2pm matinee on Saturday January 26
- Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for students and seniors


Photo of Neil Adams and Esther Maloney by Courtney Gibson


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