Any Night: sweet dreams?

Daniel Arnold and Medina Hahn in Any Night

Anna is a modern dancer who is looking for a new place to live. Technophile Patrick just happens to have put up a sign for a newly available basement suite at her dance studio. Sweet dreams are made of this.

In this fairly well written thriller created by Daniel Arnold and Medina Hahn (with direction by Ron Jenkins), currently in production at the Clutch, we are treated to the relationship of these two disparate individuals who will meet, get to know each other, fall in love and become so entwined that their destiny, eerily foretold by their pseudo-psychic neighbour, will ultimately provide us with some clarity as to why they were put together in the first place.

The ‘simple’ set created by Peter Pokorny, a bed, some drapes and a rolling staircase becomes the upstairs, downstairs, inside and outside of the house, as well as a dance studio, sleep lab, Greek ‘lip-synch’ bar and of course, Lovers Leap. The stairs, working seamlessly with the choreography, provide a wonderful continuation of the old building, with its twists and turns, for the young couple to race up and down between their respective apartments. Add to this, the deep vibrant colours of lighting designer David Fraser’s plot and we are given a visual feast to transport us from the studio space at the newly finished Cultch into the shifting world of Patrick and Anna. Not to be outdone, the soundscape, provided by Gordon Heal, utilizing more than one version of the Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams…(are made of this)”, takes us into the differing states of mind of the many characters while subtly underscoring the emotions being experienced and explored.

The acting is top notch. Both Arnold and Medina, who created the characters, inhabit them wholly. Arnold plays several minor characters through out and since there is no costume change to speak of he uses his voice to differentiate them. This could have been done more effectively, but I’m nitpicking.

Earlier I used the qualifier “fairly”. By this I mean not the structure of the play, which twists and turns as much as the old house all the while keeping us on track to the epic climax, but to ask instead the old question: what does it mean? Does this play provide us with a message about life or is it simply entertainment? As a friend of mine observed: “if its desire is to make me scared of dating, then it succeeded.” But I wonder if more than that; is it an observation of the complex predatory acts perpetrated by humanity upon itself for the sake of amusement or power? If that’s the case then, for our amusement, this team has put on quite the show and I will be checking all my heating ducts from now on.

As with a lot of theatre in this town the run ends too soon so you will only have a few more nights to catch the play, but if they are still getting the sold out crowd that I was lucky enough to be a part of then look for this piece to enjoy a remount someday. Soon I hope.

Any Night, presented by Dual Minds with Touchstone Theatre at the Cultch, continuing until October 17th. For more information stalk here.


By S Tyson