matthew amyotte, vanessa walton-bone, annie valentina, dan bray & eric fitzpatrick
I think I have admitted this on TWISI before, but I will admit it again for those who may have missed it and also because it is relevant to Michael McPhee’s play Blood and Quick Silver, which plays until Saturday September 8th as part of the Atlantic Fringe Festival, here it goes… I have never seen a film noir film. I haven’t. I have seen a few plays in the style and I grew up on a heavy dosage of film noir segments on Looney Toons and Tiny Toon Adventures, but I have to say this play, more than anything else, has made me want to run out and rent The Maltese Falcon right away.
Blood and Quick Silver, written and directed by McPhee, is, more accurately, a film noir pastiche that centers on a private dick named Sam Silver who encounters the gorgeous Em Fatale who solicits him in solving the murder of her husband, which hasn’t happened yet. We are taken to a seedy bar on the wrong side of town, with narration by Silver in a fast-paced charming voice filled with delicious 1940s jargon, lust and euphemisms, where we encounter a drunken floozy, a crazy-eyed bartended and a giant gorilla.
At its essence, McPhee has thrown some familiar and much beloved film noir conventions together with a slew of the most bizarre and unlikely characters you could imagine, given his protagonist a mission that seems almost impossible and woven it all together with polish and hilarity. Amid the silliness, I was continually intrigued and engaged with how McPhee was going to bring all these baffling elements to a logical and satisfying conclusion. I will not ruin the ending for you, but I will tell you I loved it.
There’s some fantastic performances in this production that are worth mentioning. Michael McLeod is pitch-perfect as Sam Silver and Annie Valentina, sultry and doe-eyed, is a great match for him. Vanessa Walton-Bone is visually hysterical as Mrs. Farnsworth and then gives this deliciously gin-soaked performance as Sugar Mae, the trainwreck that you cannot for a moment pull your eyes away from. Matthew Amyotte is insanity at its best as lip balm pushin’ fisherman Angus and Dan Bray keeps popping up to steal the show at just the right intervals.
The two-dimensional props and set pieces are another delightful highlight of this show and Michael McPhee has directed it in a way that does feel very filmic and embraces all the technical and pacing aspects that have become synonymous with the genre.
In all, this is a play that you are not going to want to miss this Fringe.
Thursday Aug 30 • 8:30pm
Friday August 31 • 5:55pm
Saturday Sep 1 • 10:00pm
Sunday Sep 2 • 4:55pm
Monday Sep 3 • 9:15pm
Tuesday Sep 4 • 8:10pm
Thursday Sep 6 • 5:25pm
Friday Sep 7 • MIDNIGHT NOIR SPECIAL**
Saturday Sep 8 • 3:50pm
**Come dressed as a dame with a past or a hero with no future! This midnight showing is a 1940s time capsule, complete with smoky soundtrack and special beverages.
Tickets are $10.00 and to book them in advance please visit this website or call (902) 999-7469 or visit the Box Office at the Seaport Farmers’ Market at Pavilion 20 on Marginal Road. Tickets are also available at the venue ONE hour before the show.
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