The Missing Piece - Is Missing Something

Comedy, Drama, Queer, New Work

Written and directed by Theresa Hamilton, The Missing Piece is the story of two high school friends who ditch the grad party in Chilliwack for a twosome night of camping and beer or root beer disguised as beer. Daniel Bergeron and Jeff den Hartog play the two young friends who shotgun beers and talk through their girlfriend problems. The play quickly drops the girlfriend façade and pulls at the main drama, the boys’ long standing attraction to each other.

Staged at the Picnic Pavilion, the outdoor setting adds nicely to the camping theme. Even the flannelled Australians at the nearby Cat’s Social House badgering the actors about how to shotgun a beer properly seemed fitting (though the loud din coming from the restaurant does get distracting at times). While the script clips along nicely, it doesn't have much in a the way of a fresh story. In high school the plot of two guy friends who confess their love for each other is filled with drama, and no doubt has been a drama-filled experience for many a high schooler. However, it doesn’t mean that such drama can translate well to the stage (or in this case pavilion). The script is missing a fresh perspective that could break open this show.

In this site-specific performance, the acting comes off nervous and self-conscious which gives the piece an unintended staccato rhythm. That said, there is a sweetness when Bergeron and den Hartog begin to share their feelings. Overall the play has stumbled on the start of a solid script and I believe everyone involved has a dedication and energy that will to push him or her to find that missing piece.

By Josephine Mitchell