Rabbit Hole ★★★★★ Union Theatre | Apr 12 - May 1, 2022


David Lindsay-Abaire's Rabbit Hole won a Pulitzer Prize for its thoughtful, understated look at grief and Front Foot Theatre gives the play a first-rate production. This is a work that brings to the fore all the complexities of different forms of grieving. For some, memories are a comfort, for others they are simply haunting. Words that might bring solace can equally be painful triggers. Rabbit Hole is a beautifully nuanced piece, and both playwright and director, Lawrence Carmichael, eschew histrionics or contrived plotting to create unnecessary drama. The audience's imagination is brilliantly engaged by the unexaggerated pain of parental grief and by well-drawn characters who try to behave in a decent and well meaning manner. Neither the playwright nor the strong cast fall into the sin of caricature. Ty Glaser does an outstanding job as the impulsive, somewhat ditzy sister, Izzy, and Emma Vansittart is spot on as the sympathetic, sometimes self-absorbed mother, Nat. Max Pemberton rings completely true in the role of the awkward, well-intentioned teenager, Jason. This is a small part but not an easy one to get right. As the grieving parents, Becca and Howie, Julia Papp and Kim Hardy have the most difficult challenge, but they both create identifiable characters whose emotional reality is palpable. And, they both wisely allow the audience to read their own feelings into the situation. Rabbit Hole is a fine play, beautifully performed. Prepare for a night in the theatre that will linger in your memory.

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by David Monteith-Hodge.

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