OnStage Massachusetts Critic
MEREDITH, NH - For one weekend only, The Winnipesaukee Playhouse presents the National Premiere of ‘Tilting Ground’ by Guy Hibbert. This powerful drama, directed by Neil Pankhurst and featuring a cast of three terrific actors, is a compelling story of happiness found and happiness lost.
After not hearing from her son for over a year, Nancy, played by Pat Langille, is thrilled to have him back in her life. Jack, played by William Vaughn, returns to his mother’s home in Escondido, Mexico to find that he is no longer the only man in her life. This is something he does not easily accept even when Charles, Nancy’s new husband, played by Richard Brundage, demonstrates kindness towards him. It is soon clear to Nancy that she cannot have both her husband and her son in her life and is forced to choose who stays and who goes.
The set, designed by Dan Daly, is simple, featuring sand and seashells and is nicely complimented by soothing lighting, designed by Becky Marsh. The subtle sound of splashing waves upon a shore, designed by Neil Pankhurst, completes the idyllic scene. The three elements work nicely together to transport the audience to the beachfront property.
Langille’s portrayal of Nancy was well done, though her interactions with Charles seemed more authentic than those with Jack. Both Langille and Vaughn jumped each other’s lines throughout the production; however, their commitment to their characters was unquestionable. Though Jack was my least favorite character, Vaughn’s captivating portrayal made me hope everything would work out for him in the end. Brundage grabbed the audience’s attention from the start and his heartfelt portrayal of the compassionate and sensitive Charles was outstanding.
Overall, the actors did a great job with this very intense drama; however I do think this play is best appreciated by a mature audience. ‘Tilting Ground’ plays at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse until April 24th. For additional information and tickets to visit www.winnipesaukeeplayhouse.org
For more of my reviews and theatrical thoughts check out: http://intheatresome1isalwayswatching.blogspot.com/