Poison the Well: a gem

Poison the Well

This has to be one of the very best performances at this year's Fringe.  A strong pair of professional actors and a riveting script combine to build the tension minute by minute as the ante is upped one more notch by each player, leading to an unexpected conclusion.

This is a polished gem of a show, a more serious type of theatre than much of the Fringe fare.  Elison Zasko (The Sputniks) and Andrew Connor (Boom, Cyclosa Confusa, the Cody Rivers Show) capture and maintain the complex levels of anxiety, pressure, relationships, responsibilities, guilt and living with war and terror in a pressure cooker setting of a hostage-taking negotiation.  Politics, corporate economics, ethics and morality are hurled about the table along with the various lives that are held in the balance of these two characters' roles and the allegiances to whom they must eventually answer.  Zasko pours so much life and power into her character Maya, you'll remember her as the real thing.  This is a dramatic show but it never verges into the melodramatic.  The knife-edge is occasionally blunted with some wry humour, giving the audience an opportunity to laugh and breathe before plunging back into the dismal depths of Russian oil and war profiteering interests and the collateral damage inflicted on innocents who turn to desperate measures for their relief.

This is your chance to see high quality theatre at a bargain basement price.  My guess is that this will move on to a much larger stage in the near future.

Poison the Well is on as part of this year's Vancouver Fringe. For more information go here.

By Lisa Barrett