Actors Nick Stull and Susie Mullen (centre)

August: Osage County brings tragedy and laughs to Langham

Then play is a deft mixture of tragedy and comedy with some seriously laugh-out-loud moments, describes co-director Cynthia Pronick

It’s a deft mixture of tragedy and comedy with some seriously laugh-out-loud moments.

That is how Cynthia Pronick would describe the new play, August: Osage County which is now showing  at the Langham Theatre.

The play features a family who has grown distant over the years and is brought together again by a funeral, and are forced to confront its past and present.

“All the repressed stuff between characters comes out,” said Pronick, who co-directed the play with her husband Keith Digby after they fell in love with Tracy Lett’s original script a few years ago.

What attracted Pronick to the play was the fact that anyone can relate to the issues the characters face.

“Parents give up so much of who they are as they’re trying to raise a family and they try to get it back and that comes out with this family facing this tragedy,” she said.

“It’s a family in great pain.”

But for people who are familiar with the 2013 Oscar-nominated film starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, expect a different vision of the play to unfold on stage.

According to Pronick, in the film much of the humour was left out, but is something the play embraces.

“With the medium of the camera, it tells you what to focus on and tells you what to feel. Where with [the play] you watch and sometimes it’s like a three-ring circus,” she said.

“There are major things happening on three different parts of the stage at once.”

One of the things that makes this play so different from the film is its strong female lead Violet Weston, a prescription drug-addicted mother, played by Victoria’s Susie Mullen.

“She came from nothing and achieved middle class. The idea that she really sacrificed everything . . . and has nothing to show for it,” said Mullen, adding that the play is so dense that actors often got together on their own time to run lines.

“What drew me to the part was the magnificence of the play and the part. The part is a dream for any actor. You can’t tiptoe around the stage, you have to go out there guns blazing.”

Pronick and Mullen both agreed they’ve had positive reactions from audiences since it debuted last week.

“It’s another glorious monster that we like to do. It’s a very meaty play, you can sit and analyze it forever,” said Pronick.

The play is on at the Langham Theatre until May 9, with shows on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Doors open half an hour earlier.

For more information, visit langhamtheatre.ca or call 250-384-2142.

 

 

Just Posted

Early indications say allergy season could be milder this spring

The Aerobiology Lab collects pollen samples from across Canada to help make predictions

Colwood, Esquimalt mayors support potential passenger commuter ferry

Mayors Rob Martin and Barb Desjardins hopeful study will continue

Victoria street repatriated with proper spelling after a century-long mistake

‘Penwill Street’ was named after a Victoria man, but mistakenly spelled ‘Penwell Street’

Short-term accommodations in Canada generated an estimated $2.8 billion in 2018

British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec generated almost 90 per cent of total revenue

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Most Read