Puzzling play comes to Montreal’s English theatre

Jerome of Sandy Cove crawls from a Nova Scotia bay to Mainline Theatre

Persephone Productions is bringing its brand new play, Jerome of Sandy Cove, to the Mainline Theatre from Oct. 6 to 16. Based on the true Canadian story of a man named Jerome, who mysteriously washed up on the shores of a Nova Scotia town back in the 1800s, the play examines the man’s life and origins.

Written and directed by Persephone Productions’ artistic director, Christopher Moore, the play features many talented actors including Concordia graduate Natasha Perry-Fagant.

While the performance was engaging, figuring out the plotline without a synopsis is not an easy task. I spent most of the play wondering, “Who was that person supposed to be?” and “Why is this happening?”

The play alternated between a chronological story about Jerome’s life after washing up on shore and various short scenes that depicted his possible life before the incident. The play begins with multiple scenes where the dialogue is solely in Italian. At times, it was easy to follow along, however, I feel like I missed many important pieces of information altogether.

Spoiler alert: the Italian man who I presumed to be Jerome is quite suddenly, and I really mean suddenly, being chased by a police officer and must flee on a ship. While the officers did seem to be explaining his crime, it was in Italian and I was left utterly confused. There were scenes with pirates, confederate soldiers and a random cowboy, all of whom seemed to be random. There was never any solid connection to Jerome in any of the scenes as they were just all speculations. To top it off, almost the entire cast played multiple roles. The plotline wasn’t extremely coherent throughout.

The play did have its upsides though, mostly due to the cast of talented actors. The scenes of Jerome’s life in Nova Scotia featured intriguing interactions between lead actor Zachary Creatchman (Jerome) and the rest of the cast, particularly the female actors. Any scenes with Creatchman and Dawson theatre graduate Dominique Noel were particularly captivating—they drew the audience in with their chemistry. Creatchman is a true artist and, though he did not talk, for Jerome had lost his ability to speak, his eyes and facial expressions captivated the audience with their depth and intrigue.

The music throughout the show was performed live by Sarah Segal-Lazar, and all of the songs and lyrics were written and composed by Segal-Lazar herself. It gave the show a more folksy and intimate feel, and made me feel more at home as an audience member.

While this play featured great acting and did have many heartfelt and humorous moments, it fell short in the plot department, and viewers should definitely read a synopsis before heading into the theatre. The show runs until Oct. 16 at the Mainline Theatre on St Laurent.

Tickets are $20 for students and $25 for the general public. To learn more about the production, visit their website.

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