Audience and critic responses to THE SEAFARER, playing now until March 29th.
"We were all very impressed with the acting in the play, which was brilliant, and the play had us all riveted and on the edge of our seats. Superb gradual increase in suspense. And we appreciated the light at the end of the tunnel in the way it ended. Our friends really enjoyed it. We had quite a conversation about the challenges of caring for someone who needs care who is not very thankful (Ron was brilliant as Richard in this regard, in the way he treated Sharky—heart-wrenching stuff. And the off-stage calls involving Richard were hilarious.). The language did very much live up to the warning, but we had given our friends lots of headsup, and fortunately, they had both witnessed this kind of talk before in Ireland. Thanks so much for the evening! It is a very powerful, and very well-acted play. We’ve been telling other folks about it as well." | John Williams, Audience Email
"This was a treat an excellent performance by the entire cast. This venue is great, I'm never disappointed whenever I go." | Audience Feedback
"I still have not been able to shake it two days later, scenes and visions constantly flashing forward in my mind. It is a glorious feeling, not being able to stop thinking about a play, to have enjoyed something so completely that you can’t, or won’t, let go of it right away…." | Keara Barnes, Travel Theatrics
"All performances are excellent. Director Anthony F. Ingram has taken five fine actors and created an ensemble performance that may be the best production this season in Vancouver." | Michael Groberman, The Huffington Post
"Directed by Anthony F. Ingram, these are five superb performances. Tracy, as Sharky, is quiet and tense to the breakpoint as Richard, increasingly drunk and belligerent, orders him around. Dixon plays Ivan as a woolly-headed drunk, somewhat remorseful about his wife and kids. It’s Christmas Eve and he’s not home but he stays for the card game anyway. McNee’s Nicky is, on the surface, genial but there’s menace here and it has everything to do with Sharky and his ex-girlfriend." Jo Ledingham
"On the surface, it is the tale of two brothers and three friends gathered over the holidays for a friendly game of poker. At its depths, it is a brilliant exploration of the human condition and family dynamics within the context of an underemployed blue-collar family in a poor fishing village in Ireland." | Gregg Baker, The MB Herald
"Thank you, Anthony F. Ingram and Pacific Theatre for the worshipful offering of The Seafarer. It makes an impact when one sits in the tension of messy broken lives at their turning point, integrating the truth-telling in this hard-hitting work of art at a personal level, and sharing the experience of the journey with those aboard." | Deanna Pfortmueller, The MB Herald
"The actors dealt with the material in spectacular fashion, driving you from laughter to disgust to despair from moment to moment. ... Regarding the set decoration, a replica of an aging, bachelor's Irish cottage, I have to say they nailed it. Peeling paint, Gaelic Athletic Association Poster, and Sacred Heart of Jesus on the wall. Perfect. Man slumped in a heap on the floor. Takes me back. Before I sat down, I had already been transported." | Helena, The South Granville Inhabiter
"The Seafarer shines a light on the downtrodden aspects of Irish society. Bad luck, alcoholism, and poverty marks the derelict company, punctuated by copious amounts of swearing. You can practically smell the stench off Ron Reed’s turn as querulous, recently-blinded Richard. But it’s his brother, Sharky, who is at the heart of this moral tale, and John Emmet Tracy shows off his turn of portraying a despicable character while garnering our sympathies at the same time. ... The script gives each character ample time to shine, and the way they played off of each other was a joy to watch." | Cecilia Lu, VancityBuzz
"The actors are powerful, some of the best in the city. John Emmet Tracey carries the weight of Sharkey’s failure and shame so deeply that when he tells one story about getting into a bar fight his sense of humiliation is profoundly effective without being showy. Ron Reed is tragic as the happy blind drinker and he makes you laugh as you pity him. He is dirty, disgusting and mean-spirited but so happy it’s a delightful performance of a profoundly tragic man. Andrew McNee as usual charms and he is the very best at saying the line text while chuckling. Tim Dixon is also very effective as the bumbling Ivan... I have never felt so much joy during a show. As the drama gets to its end the sense of conclusive happiness made for a very powerful end to the theatre evening." | David C. Jones, The Charlesbois Post
"This intense story by Irish playwright Conor McPherson and directed by Anthony F. Ingram is sure to become one of this year’s favorite productions." | Ariane Colenbrander, Vancouverscape
"Saw this show on Saturday and it was simply outstanding. 5 extraordinarily gifted and experienced actors at the utter top of their respective games, and a script that fairly crackled with equal measures of humour, pathos and tension. We felt almost voyeuristic, peering through the windows and watching men attempt to relate to each other with the burden of their intertwined past lives burbling just beneath the surface. Ron Reed, as Richard, gave an utterly brilliant performance in a very challenging role, but the entire cast were excellent. One of the strongest plays we've attended in years. And yes, the language is strong, but entirely authentic and contextual, and no worse than what would be heard on the B-Line after 8 PM. See this show." | Ivan Van Spronsen, Audience Response (Facebook)
"There’s wit and vivacity in McPherson’s writing, and his delivery of the vernacular of Dublin’s underclass is delicious. The roles he’s written must be like blue cheese to actors: extreme, kind of disgusting, and irresistible. Under Anthony F. Ingram’s direction, this cast of five dives in with gusto—and considerable skill." | Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight
"There is still some fine acting going on in this production. As the blind brother Richard, Ron Reed is almost unrecognizable as he fully embraces the confusion of the newly blinded man as much as he embraces his first sip of booze in the morning. Tim Dixon is delightfully buffoonish as Ivan and Andrew McNee brings the necessary aloofness to Nicky. It is in the pairing of John Emmet Tracy as Sharky and John Innes as Mr Lockhart though that director Anthony F Ingram gets his biggest bang. As Mr Lockhart’s identity is revealed late in the first act, the dynamic between them is at times mesmerizing." | Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents
FROM THE TWITTER FEED:
@phildashil: "@afivancouver @PacificTheatre this is on my top ten list of 2014 of best theatre. Great ensemble especially Ron!"
@stacerchomiak: "@PacificTheatre We just had the pleasure of seeing our friend #JohnInnes in this INCREDIBLE play called #TheSeafarer - WOW! #Vancouver"
@natashaburnett: "Just enjoyed a great evening @PacificTheatre watching The Seafarer with the amazing @JohnEmmetTracy! A must see!"
@scottygbutton: "@PacificTheatre's #ptSeafarer is incredible - enviable writing and a masterclass in acting. A perfect play for dark, wet weather. Go."
@cwilhelmson: "Seeing #ptSeafarer last night made me very proud to be a @PacificTheatre donor. Simple story slowly reveals so many rich layers. #vantheatre"
@LJFaaace: "#Theseafarer at @PacificTheatre is beautifully acted and gorgeously specific from all corners. Closes March 29th."
@mackgord: "If you're into tight, well-acted, cinematic, enthralling plays go see The Seafarer at Pacific Theatre. My favourite play so far in 2014."
@localdramaqueen: "@PacificTheatre #ptseafarer Congratulations to the entire Seafarer cast for a flawless performance. A round of Jessies coming right up!"
@airambc77: "#ptSeafarer @PacificTheatre incredible acting! So interesting to watch these characters struggle through their story. Beautiful "dirty" set!"