Refuge of Lies is the kind of play that makes theatre exciting for me. It tells a great story, has strong characters struggling with profound life questions and has the power to engender intense discussions as well as individual explorations of one's personal sense of morality. Throw in a number of excellent performances and powerful staging under the direction of the playwright himself, and you have a riveting drama."
Gillian Lockitch, Review from the House
Wow. I'm still revisiting. Opening scene set such an authentic tone that I was IN the story the entire time. (I know this old Dutch couple.) Of course the questions of justice, mercy, forgiveness and truth keep my overactive mind busy chewing and pondering... Whew. I may have to see it again. Bravo.
Topical, relevant. Pacific Theatre should be commended for doing new work that tackles current issues. Something that is far too often missing from the Vancouver theatrical landscape. I would challenge the larger Vancouver theatre companies to do the same. We're a smart group. We can take it.
Sebastien Archibald, Plank Magazine
Wow. It was fantastic theatre. It's what theatre SHOULD be. It left both of us with lots of questions . . . thanks for yet another challenging and thoroughly enjoyable (though at time through some tears) experience.
Gushing or platitudes will not do. Thank you for taking the risks that you have in mounting this production. Gutsy. . . .
Well written. . . . Incredibly meaty parts. . . . Talk about intensity. Stirring, moving, challenging, complex, definitely leads to a good conversation in the lobby or during the ride home. We have already recommended it to friends. . . .
Rarely have I attended a play where there is spontaneous applause after the first act. Hands down, one of the most powerful PT productions. Up there with Espresso. . . .
Playwright Ron Reed tackles some tough questions in Pacific Theatre’s Refuge of Lies, providing a powerful framework for us to reach deep to find our own answers and the truth within.
Mark Robins, Gay Vancouver
Wonderful play. That's what theatre should be. Thought provoking. I was mesmerized. Excellent acting and direction telling such an important story. Thank you, thank you
We saw "Refuge of Lies" today and both of us thought it was outstanding! Thought-provoking doesn't begin to describe it -- it is one of the most gut-wrenching examinations of grace vs. justice that I have ever seen. As a drama of conscience I would rank it with the likes of "12 Angry Men" or "A Man for All Seasons". Truly, this is a play that deserves to be seen by audiences across North America. You must be very proud of it. And the production was outstanding as well, with great performances all around. Congratulations! We were profoundly moved by what we saw.
I just got off the phone with a lovely woman who subscribes with her friend under her friend's name, who had wonderful things to say about Refuge Of Lies. She went on emphatically to tell me how she was 'blown out of the water' by this show and wanted to throw bouquets and and a party for every person on that stage. She was thrilled by the show itself, and also commended us on what a high caliber of theatre she sees from here on a regular basis. . . .
report from the box office
Saw the show tonight - really, really engaging. lovely acting, cool writing, well directed, nearly started to cry before the lights even came down looking at the set. Really thought provoking piece - a great night out at the theatre. thanks!
I really enjoyed this play. In particular, I really liked the ultimate, over-arching questions Reed poses: What is forgiveness? Who grants forgiveness? And who is the ultimate judge? Man or God?
Michelle Kim, Miss 604
Just a note to let you know how much we appreciated Refuge of Lies. Exceptionally well written, directed and acted, and providing a lot of food for thought and discussion. Terence Kelly was outstanding.
I might add that the play had special significance in that my earliest memories (when I was barely 3) was of Nazi collaborators coming to our door in Holland to check whether we were hiding Jews, and my mother and me hiding in a corner in order to act as if we were not at home (while I didn’t realize it at the time, we were a “way station” for Jews moving from one location to another). So the Luitjens case both interested and disturbed me since it seemed to me that having some type of restorative justice “healing circle” would have been much more meaningful than extradition and a jail sentence.
Pacific Theatre is a unique and important cultural contribution to the Vancouver arts scene.
Stunning performances! The cast was amazing. The play was extraordinary, wonderful dialogue, great structure. On thinking on it overnight I realize that a super cast is essential to the play's performance, because there is so much skill and experience to bring so much of it off, for example the flashbacks, and as Terry calls it the "fugue" scene. Thanks so much for alerting me to this scary and touching event, which besides being dramatically interesting, also explored a deeply troubling issue. I have always sided on the "tracking down" team, but now I understand another point of view. Can one never being forgiven. . . . More questions than answers.
Refuge of Lies is compelling! I am so glad I saw it! I would like everyone to see it and continue to think about the content and discuss it. I keep wondering what my Jewish friends in New York would say if they could see it. . . .This play will stay with me.
It was so good. Tight - there was a wonderful flow scene to scene, even the movement between scenes either heightened or reduced the tension... Wonderful acting, great casting all around. Rudi was perfect.
The set worked -- brilliant.... I so loved all the ambiguity and your unwillingness to answer any of the questions or provide any rationalizations... This is an incredibly meaningful work with easy parallels to residential schools and the Catholic Priest issues.... Brilliant work, Bravo.
I love this play … intelligent and powerful. Congratulations.
There's so much I could say about Refuge of Lies! Brilliant acting, beautiful lighting, a set that made me want to get up and study every one of those faces ... And the writing is superb. Not a flat moment, every scene so well shaped, the dramatic arc flowing without interruption from first word to last ... However, the thing I will really remember about this play is how provocative it is. ...talked about it all the way home ... And we talked about it some more the next day. It really put a finger on some issues we needed to talk about, and our discussion lanced some boils. ... The play leaves the audience with this problem: As the play exposes festering wounds in our own souls (which it certainly must), how shall we respond? Where do we sit in regard to the will not/cannot question? Enter God's grace, with a deep invitation to repentance. Or dramatically speaking: catharsis. Which makes this play a true modern tragedy. Thanks for not taking the easy path.
The tension wasn't just palpable from the first moment, it was smellable and tastable. It would be so easy for this play to be a sort of Socratic dialogue made into pseudo-drama, but instead, the characters are fully enfleshed. We talked all the way home, and again this morning.
Howard Siegel delivers a subtly passionate performance as Simon Katzman, the guy who tracks Rudi down, and Anthony F. Ingram offers detailed and distinct portraits of two different pastors. Anna Hagan is effectively understated as Rudi’s wife, Netty, and Terence Kelly is always emotionally credible as Rudi. . . . Designer Lauchlin Johnston offers a handsome set . . . one element of which is unconditionally inspired.
Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight
Thank you for such an incredibly beautiful show. I'm for sure going to see it again.
We saw Refuge of Lies on Friday and enjoyed the talk back afterwards. we also talked about it all day Saturday and all evening Saturday and am still thinking about it... now that's good theatre!! we LOVED the performance.
It was so so great to see Refuge of Lies. . . . I am planning on coming again because it touched me much more than I was expecting it to. So great. . . . your show got me excited about theatre again.
I wanted you to know that I saw Refuge of Lies on thurs. night and it was riveting. Really from the start to the end my mind never wandered once, (I have a hard time focusing) I was believing every moment I was watching. . . .
Superb acting, especially Rudi's character. . . . Quite close to home, my husband's family were friends and belonged to the same church as the Luitjen's, so it is giving us lot's to talk about. The play was so creative from the set to the dream/reality scenes. Really I should see it again....
Thanks for portraying these complicated issues with compassion and truth,
all the best,
Fabulous and thought provoking! Gritty, but an important story very well told (and directed)! The acting was wonderful as well.
Being at PT last night and seeing Refuge brought to life on the stage (brilliant stage set) opened up a deep place in me. Justice and mercy as opponents, playing out their relationship, with the sacramental elements of wine, bread, water present and the lemon twist of irony in the last line. . . . I was so proud to be there.
Dear Cast and Crew of “Refuge of Lies”
I attended last night’s preview performance of the show and want to tell you how much I enjoyed the experience.
It’s a gorgeously conceived and carefully crafted play, and the performances were very strong. Mr. Kelly was particularly affecting while managing to avoid being ingratiating or self-pitying – in fact, my heart broke for Werner as his sense of his own goodness was thrown suddenly into chaos.
After the play my friend and I had a spirited debate about the rightness of persecuting those who have done serious wrongs in the past – Mr. Reed’s play raised interesting questions and resisted the temptation to put forward simple answers. Thank you to all involved for an enjoyable and stimulating evening at the theatre!
Warm regards and congratulations
Terry and Anna,
thank you for such a meaty evening of theatre!! We saw the show tonight (which was astonishingly well polished for a preview, with many perfect moments) and it was such a pleasure to see you both working (playing) together... a very thought provoking script ... lots of levels & Ron , being an actor, has a real nose for the theatrical... I love paradox - it was delicious & I was totally involved...
So bravo! and I know you will have a successful run.... we were debating large themes in the car....
much love and thanks again for your beautiful work . . .