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Review: Nothing Less! and A Midsummer Night's Dream 

A delightful double bill from Two Planks and a Passion Theatre

click to enlarge Burgandy Code, Riel Reddick Stevens, Jamie Konchak, Victoria Houser, Stephanie MacDonald in Nothing Less! - CLAIRE MILTON
  • Burgandy Code, Riel Reddick Stevens, Jamie Konchak, Victoria Houser, Stephanie MacDonald in Nothing Less!
  • Claire Milton

Nothing Less!

It’s 1918 in Apple Tree Landing, and the women of the small Nova Scotia town are fighting for their right to vote. They also sing and dance and practice Suffrajitsu. This is Nothing Less!, a new play by Ami McKay and Ken Schwartz, performed outdoors at the beautiful Ross Creek Centre for the Arts in Canning.

The plein air setting is perfectly suited to this story, as are the period costumes by Jennifer Goodman, but it is in the performances of Burgandy Code and Jamie Konchak that the play lives and breathes. Konchak as the young Daisy, caught between her desire to fight for her right to vote and a misguided romance, performs with the high energy of a young woman driven by purpose. Code as Aunt Jane, the stalwart leader of the group, portrays her character’s struggle and exhaustion with grace and compassion.

Nothing Less! is a progressive, feminist play and an example of summer theatre that has wide appeal and a relevant message. It is also not just a story of past struggles, but highlights important parallels in today’s culture of misogyny. The songs are catchy, the story is one to warm the heart, and audiences will be compelled to cry and to cheer for these women.

A Midsummer Night’s

Told around a fire as the sun sets, this performance of the Shakespeare classic is not to be missed. The play is as silly as they come, and the pared down production had the audience in stitches. There are no elaborate sets or costumes, just a group of talented people having fun with a rich text.

Andrea Lee Norwood is great as the lovesick Hermia, and Ryan Rogerson’s sly Puck is hilarious. Stephanie MacDonald as Quince, the leader of a band of amateur actors, all but steals the show in her brief appearances.

Directed by Ken Schwartz, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a wonderfully minimalist production, and an enchanting evening of storytelling by a fire.

Both shows run until August 19th
Presented by Two Planks and a Passion Theatre
Ross Creek Centre for the Arts
Canning, NS

Schedule of performances here.

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