; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: Gruesome Playground Injuries

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Gruesome Playground Injuries

Pacific Theatre's Gruesome Playground Injuries (by Rajiv Joseph) is a wonderful piece of theatre, and I'm not just saying that because it holds one of the most romantic vomit scenes I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. Seriously, I think I may have shed a tear for it.

I can understand why Artistic Director Ron Reed fell instantly in love with this show. It revolves around scenes that take place in a school nurse's office and eventually graduate up to a full-blown hospital room. Timelines jump back and forth between childhood and adulthood as we witness a love story between two people who are bound by their injuries and scars, both external and internal.

Photo by Damon Calderwood. Pictured: Pippa Johnstone and Kenton Klassen

If I had to nitpick one thing about the production, it would be that it was hard to see the faces of the actors at times. If you've been to Pacific Theatre, you know that the setup could be slightly to blame. It's just that both actors  Kenton Klassen and Pippa Johnstone act the heck out of this show. Not just in the scenes, but also during the in-between costume changes, which are beautifully choreographed to convey emotions of rage, anger, love.

Photo by Damon Calderwood. Pictured: Pippa Johnstone and Kenton Klassen.

There are humorous "injuries" (i.e. pinkeye, struck by lightning, riding a bike off a roof) and there are more serious issues, such as cutting, rape, and death. We watch these two ships pass back and forth in the night, and wonder if they'll ever be able to meet in the middle and heal each other's wounds.

Gruesome Playground Injuries is on now at Pacific Theatre until April 16.

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