I finally got to Artscape this evening to see Interrupting Henry, the second play in Artscape’s New Writing Season; there have been a series of misses resulting in me not getting there sooner. It’s written by Myer Taub, directed by Matthew Wild, and designed by Angela Nemov with music by Shaun Michau and lighting by Faheem Bardien.
Interrupting Henry is about a new drama teacher who tries to put on The Diary of Ann Frank as the school play and he gets into a bit of trouble with the rigid school staff and the normal school rules and regulations. The problem is that this isn’t very fleshed out in the script so it doesn’t have much emotional weight or resonance. Nonetheless, the story and it’s execution are very entertaining.
Things I loved about the play: The Set. Angela created an amazing set that was interesting, had great, shifting perspective, excellent usability and great colours. The lighting. It completely worked. The sound and music; it was haunting, rousing, big and contemporary. Ivan Abrahams as Samuels. He was hilarious, complex and totally delightful as the onbewus, typical headmaster. Julia Anastasopoulos as Elsa Brown. I love watching Julia on stage.
Things I didn’t like: Teresa Iglich as Smith. Sorry, don’t get her. Bits of the script that worked too hard or too little at making sense or delivering the issues. Travers Snyders. He brought very little to the role of Zed, the schoolboy. Vaneshran Arumugam as Henry. I think Vaneshran had an off night (I usually love him as an actor) but he seemed very unfocused and all over the place tonight.
I think the script needs to be developed. I remember being a stand-in teacher for Myer (the playwright) when he was a school drama teacher, so I see where he gets his inspiration but I think that the issues need to be brought to the fore in a more committed way.
Still, I really enjoyed watching it.