Ralph and Lina is a fantastic play that is filled with joy and energy it celebrates, love, perseverance and Canada’s multiculturalism.
The play focuses on the trials and tribulations of Ralph and Lina a couple in Italy who meet when Lina starts working for Ralph’s mother. The two are immediately attracted to each other but as the war starts the two of them are forced into several chaotic situations that challenge their relationship.
The stage is very minimalistic but also very effective. One of the best decision on my opinion was to use relatively few props instead having the two actors mime the use of the items. For example there is a sewing machine that is used to great effect in a very early scene that is actually just Christina Serra making sewing noises while pretending to sew some cloths. It only adds to the plays charm.
The play only has two actors in it but that is all it needs. Dan Watson and Christina Serra are both amazing in their roles. Watson does a great job of portraying his characters eager and enthusiastic at times slightly childish character while also showing his more serious traits such as His deep abiding love for Lina, His determination to see his family and the genuine trauma he goes through in the war. Serra does an absolutely amazing job portraying both her characters very energetic and romantic personality but also the more fiery and determined side to her character. She also does a great job portraying her characters genuine grief in some of the more tragic scenes. The two actors are actually a married couple in real life which shows because the two have amazing chemistry. The two of them complement each other perfectly with very energetic performances. The acting often incorporates dance and is very physical. The two main characters are both very emotional people and the strength of the performers is how powerfully they convey these emotions. When they are happy the audience is overjoyed and when they are sad the audience is miserable.
The overall play is very funny, and filled with joy. The play deals with some very serious issues such as war, disease and the troubles of immigrants and these are given the proper amount of weight and drama. However the overall play is very joyful. The characters face major challenges, but they both prove themselves more than capable of overcoming them. The joy is in fact the plays greatest strength. It has been at least a year since a single play has brought me this much joy and months since any piece of art in general has done so. Tickets are available at the Yukon Arts Center for Thursday and Friday.