bend 2

jordan roberts, jude kinder, conor purdy, ian mullan

photo by timothy richard

trrrash’s newest play by Ian Mullan is Bend. It is in the very early stages of its development playing at Plan B as part of the Atlantic Fringe Festival, but it is one that I am exorbitantly excited already to see in a future, expanded incarnation.

Set just before the Halifax Explosion in 1917, Bend examines the way that we piece together the past from the artifacts that are left behind. How often do we impose “likely” hetero-normative narratives on personages from our history? Queer stories and experiences, obviously, existed prior to the Stonewall Riots, and thus Mullan gives us Michael and Andrew as one potential love story clouded over by history.

What I want from Bend is more, more, more. More playing with the ideas of inter-crossing narratives of “what could have been” interpretations of the lives of these characters, more deeply rooted social and historical context for Halifax in 1917, more about the characters’ relationships with one another, more immediacy about their experiences with the Great War and the Explosion and a delving even deeper by the three actors (Conor Purdy, Jordan Roberts and Jude Kinder) into the complex psyches, motivations and inner lives of these people and what makes them rise from prototypes to individuals.

I trust that this is just the kernel and the spark in the creative process for Mullan and for Bend. I look very forward to seeing it again as a longer piece. The potential here is massive.

TWISI Rating

3 of 5 stars

Bend plays at Plan B (2180 Gottingen Street) at the following times: 

Saturday, Aug 31 • 9:10
Sunday, Sep 1 • 8:00
Tuesday, Sep 3 • 9:00
Thursday, Sep 5 • 8:00
Friday, Sep 6 • 8:05
Saturday, Sep 7 • 5:00

Tickets are $6.00 and are available in advance online at this website or 30 minutes before each show at the venue on the day of the performance. All tickets bought in person must be purchased with either cash or credit. For more information please visit this website or call 902.422.7604 between 10:00am and 5:00pm. 

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