Vancouver Fringe Festival review: Blackbird

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      In David Harrower’s 2005 play, Una tracks down Ray, the much older man who sexually abused her 15 years earlier.

      He’s at work; the play begins as he drags her into the lunchroom, where they slowly peel back the layers of the truth about the past.

      Ray served a prison sentence and Una was a figure of contempt in the small community she never left. “I hate the life I’ve had. I wanted you to know that,” she says.

      Harrower’s script relies heavily on contrivance, but director Omari Newton’s positioning of the audience around the perimeter of an actual workplace lunchroom—harshly fluorescent and strewn with debris—gives the shifting power balance between the two characters a powerful immediacy, and Stephanie Elgersma and David Bloom ride the script’s emotional roller coaster with finesse.