Love. One word, four letters, and an infinite amount of meaning. Don’t you sometimes wish that there were at least 50 words to describe what love means to you? Relationships are complicated. One minute you love the person, the next you can’t stand them.
Fifty Words, by Michael Weller, starring Nicole Braber and Craig Thomas, is about a married couple, forced to face who they have become and what their life is like, something they wish they could ignore. Director Jeremy Taylor believes that part of its appeal is that it “speaks to some degree of the human condition.” Everyone relates to relationship problems, even familial ones. We all, at some point in our lives, question our motivations and doubt our decisions. “The power of the play is in its universality,” said Taylor. Though the play is set in Brooklyn, this type of confrontation can happen anywhere.
You know that awkward feeling you get when you witness an argument in someone else’s house? That discomfort sums up the mood of the play. Witnessing such a real and private conversation is an unusual experience. The play, shown at The Freestanding Room, is able to seat a maximum of 30.
Not only is the content very intimate, but there is no barrier separating the set from the audience. The audience members are literally in the couple’s kitchen, adding to the feeling of intruding and invading someone’s privacy. Taylor and his team successfully create a private and personal space, where the audience feels like a fly on the wall, eavesdropping on conversation.
Jan and Adam can no longer turn a blind eye to what their marriage has become. Since their son is at a friend’s, the two are left alone to uncover layers, revealing secrets and repressed feelings. The couple have a very raw and volatile relationship, full of passion and destructive behaviour.
Braber believes that no matter your age or walk of life “you will relate to Fifty Words in many ways, it will stay with you, and it will change your perspective.”
Both characters are authentic and genuine, and bare their souls for all to see. They were desperately pitiful at times, and incredibly charming together. Sparks flew between the pair, as did dishes, for that matter. People argue all the time, they fight, and they hurt those closest to them. “The audience responded well to the fact that they can relate in some way or another,” said Taylor. “People are personally affected because they identify with the characters.”
Love: such a simple yet complex word. There should be 50 words for it, just as there are 50 reasons why you should make your way to The Freestanding Room to intrude.
If you enjoy listening in on people’s conversations, then Fifty Words is the play for you! Head to The Freestanding Room, located at 4324 St-Laurent Blvd. to get your dose of gossip. The play runs until Nov. 6, Wednesday to Sunday at 8 p.m.