Anita’s Eye on the Rodeo — As I Lay Dying — Theatre Smith-Gilmour
Tonight is your last chance to catch Theatre Smith-Gilmour’s darkly hilarious interpretation of the American classic novel, As I Lay Dying. Truly a rich, multi-layered performance by the talented cast of seven.
And it’s so much fun. They take us along for a rollicking ride with the Bundren family, fighting flood, fire, broken bones and their personal demons as they trek by mule-drawn wagon through rural Mississippi to bury their matriarch. In the great clowning tradition, the actors use noses, hats, voice, posture and other theatrical devices to morph into a couple of dozen characters.
This is no straight-forward telling of the tale. Theatre Smith-Gilmour uses its sophisticated sense of staging, its highly physical style of mime and text to masterfully draw vivid imagery unique to each viewer’s mind. They use slow motion movement to recreate the flood and fire scenes from the novel to great comic effect. You can’t help but chuckle over and over again as young horse-crazy Jewel, played by Ben Muir, mimes riding his spirited mount; or giggling as the actors mimic the lurching wagon; or cringing as these hillbillies pour cement on young Cash’s broken leg to make a cast. And finally the perfect banana.
I highly recommend this show – at the Pumphouse Theatre.