By David F. Rooney
Locked in a contest of wills, Sarah Harper and Anna Fin play contract killers holed up in a cafe basement as they await orders to bump off their next target in Harold Pinter’s absurdist drama, The Dumb Waiter, which opens on Thursday, March 20, in the RSS Drama Studio.
It’s bad enough being a pair of killers stuffed away in the close confines of a basement. But toss in conversational trivia and the friction generated by a struggle for social dominance and an explosion of some kind is guaranteed.
Harper and Fin have their dialogue and psychological quirks down pat in this humourous, intense and provocative one-act play produced by The Revelstoke Theatre Company. Harper is perfectly sullen with a hair-trigger temper as the senior killer, Ben. Fin is exquisitely dim, oblivious and mindlessly talkative as Gus. Give them a couple of automatic pistols and you just know someone is going to get whacked.
This is Sarah Harper’s second foray onto the stage with the Revelstoke Theatre Company having played the narrator in the company’s production of Fuel. She uses her acting skills to ratchet up the palpable sense of tension in The Dumb Waiter. This is Anna Fin’s first time on stage here. She is animated and athletic and clearly enjoys acting. They are excellent choices for this play and I hope to see more of them in the future.
Now for a word about the set. It is stark, austere and terrific. It transforms the RSS Drama Studio into a marvelously claustrophobic space. And with seating for about 60, the audience is intimately drawn into the action on stage as the two killers cope with their inner tensions while waiting for the orders from their unseen boss.
At about 90 minutes in length The Dumb Waiter, directed by Anita Hallewas, is well worth an evening in the RSS Drama Studio.
It’s also going to be Revelstoke’s entry in the Kootenay Zone Festival to be held in Creston at the end of May.
The Revelstoke Theatre Company’s production of The Dumb Waiter is being performed March 20-22 and March 27-29 starting at 8 pm.
Tickets are available online and at Powder Springs.