Lauren Sigfusson, Monday 22 October 2012
Almost, Maine is a production that covers a wide array of emotions from love and heartbreak to loss and hope.
The play is set in a remote, heavily wooded, mythical Maine community near the Canadian border. ‘There’s a magical quality about the show,’ says cast member Lydia Munroe who plays Marvalyn and a mysterious woman. She explains that the show is highly realistic, but the minute details almost send the production and audience into a fantasy world. For example love takes on ‘physical forms’ throughout the show and in one scene a woman literally hands ‘bags of love’ back to her ex-boyfriend.
There are nine humorous and romantic scenes, with each scene begining at 9 pm on a mid-winter night and ending with the mystical northern lights appearing. Director Gary Diomandes tells us that the underlying theme is somewhat lightened by the quirky characters (who each appear in a single scene) and their relationships. ‘It’s a play about hope and love and how hopefully everything will work out for these characters,’ he says.
The cast and crew are comprised entirely of study abroad students from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. The school sends students to London each year to study and put on a formal production.
Diomandes says most people should be able to relate to the show because it covers a wide array of emotions. He hopes the audience will look at the relationships from the play and apply them to their own lives. The play is about small town mentality and he wants people to get an idea of small towns and the issues that ‘weave together the fabric of the community.’
The audience should come away from the play with hope and understanding, said Munroe. ‘Love can be found when it feels like you won’t find it,’ she says. While love is at the epicentre of Almost, Maine, the audience can take away a variety of things from the show.
Almost, Maine runs 23-27 October, 7:30 pm
Tara Theatre 356 Garratt Lane, London, SW18 4ES
Tel: 020 83334457