Where the Blood Mixes compelling theatre
You must see Where the Blood Mixes.
Not necessarily because it tells the story of one of the most-tragic and heinous chapters in Canadian history — although that is a good reason.
And, not necessarily because it is one of the best-written plays to ever be produced by Western Canada Theatre.
If you need only one reason, go to see a cast that is stunning.
The five actors who tell the story of two First Nations men grappling with their residential school-created demons will mesmerize you.
It can be something as simple as a facial expression to the dramatic interactions between the two men, the white bartender, the First Nations woman who loves one of the men and the daughter taken into care years before coming home to find her roots.
Anyone who saw Thunderstick at Pavilion Theatre two years ago knows Craig Lauzon and Lorne Cardinal have an exceptional chemistry.
It propels the Kevin Loring play that continues to Saturday, Oct. 20.
Michaela Washburn, as the girlfriend of Lauzon’s character, captivated me as she went through all the emotions of someone who has packed away her own trauma and wishes the man she loves would do the same.
Sera-Lys McArthur, as the daughter eventually adopted after being put into foster care, made me cry — while her story is that of many First Nations children, the simple need to find her own roots resonated with me, having lived through the discovery of my own sibling adopted as a child.
Lauzon and Cardinal set the bar so high in their performances, but each of the other cast members, including Robert Benz as their friend, the bartender, managed to meet it every time they were on the stage.
The technical side is often overlooked in reviews, but mention has to be made of the spot-on lighting by Cory Sincennes, who also designed the sparse set.
Dave Clarke, the sound designer and composer, created a soundtrack that helps propel the story along.
The Governor General Award-winning play was workshopped by WCT years ago, with the late David Ross in the role of the bartender.
When this season was announced months ago, I told my friends at the press conference this play was the one I truly wanted to see.
It didn’t live up to my expectations at all — it surpassed them.
It is amazing theatre.
Tickets are at the Kamloops Live Box Office, 1025 Lorne St., 250-374-5483, or online.