The Shape of things is a beautiful play that explores the relationship between art, Romance, and (on a much more subtle level) gender roles. It combines humour, drama, and intimacy to create a truly great production.
The play follows a somewhat nerdy and shy but sweet young college student named Adam who, after a chance encounter, begins a relationship with a flamboyant art student named Evelyn who begins to help him make some major changes in his life. His friends Jenny and Phillip react positively and negatively respectfully to these changes.
One very strong element of the piece is Rosie Stuckless’s costume designs. The costumes tell a lot about the characters; for example, I actually have known women similar (though not as extreme) to Evelyn and they dress almost identically to her. The same can be said for the costuming of Phillip and Jenny, but the character who the costuming really stands out for is Adam. As he changes throughout the play his clothes change to reflect his new personality.
One of the only problems I have is the intermission. The play works best when the audience experiences the play very viscerally and on a very emotional level, only processing it afterwards. The intermission allows the audience to process what they’ve seen on an intellectual level. Still it’s a relatively minor flaw in an otherwise nearly perfect production.
The set designed by Donald C Watt is wonderful. It is made up of plinths which are then put together in order to make various objects on the stage. It looks very artistic in the way it is built which helps illustrate the plays questions about art.
The actors are all amazing. The cast is much younger than what has been common in the previous guild years. The guilds Artistic Director Anthony Trombetta should be congratulated for finally bringing a play to Whitehorse that taps the young talent that has been here for a very long time but never really taken advantage of in previous seasons. Jeff Charles does a great job portraying Adams awkwardness, as well as his surprising wit. As the play continues he does a great job portraying the changes in his character while still being recognizable.Santana Berryman is mesmerizing in the role of Evelyn she is very charming and charismatic but the character also has a rather manipulative and vindictive side that she portrays extremely well. The chemistry between the two actors is also very good. Rowan Dunne is great as Adams former roommate and friend Phillip. He portrays the characters blunt and occasionally very unpleasant demeanor very well but, also shows the genuine insight the character sometimes finds.
Finally Andrea Bols gives a fantastic performance as Adams other friend Jenny, giving a performance that nails the characters cheerful and friendly demeanor. The play works so well because each of the characters is real, if you have gone to a college there is a high chance that you have met someone like each of these characters at least once.
The play is very interesting look into art and relationships, it works as well as it does because of how real it feels the shape of things is a very powerful play that may have an effect on those who watch it for a very long time.