Jon Scheer (left to right), Melissa Taylor and Liam McDonald in Langham Court Theatre’s production of Proof, on until June 24. Dave Lowes photo

Victoria stage production explores value of trust in relationships

Proof runs now through June 24 at Langham Court Theatre

What is the value of trust in relationships? What is the nature of proof? Which has more value, proof or trust? Those questions are at the centre of the latest play at Langham Court Theatre.

Originally written by American playwright David Auburn in 2000, Proof is a drama that explores the depths of love and the mystery of brilliance, as well as the conflict in relationships between trust and the need for proof.

The play follows Catherine (played by Melissa Taylor), the daughter of Robert (Jon Scheer), a recently deceased mathematical genius, and her struggle with her own genius and mental illness.

Catherine’s sister, Claire (Melissa Bank), returns for her father’s funeral and tries to convince Catherine to return to New York with her. During that time, one of Robert’s ex-graduate students, Hal (Liam McDonald), discovers a paradigm-shifting proof about prime numbers in Robert’s office. But it’s unclear whether father or daughter wrote it.

“It’s a brilliant piece of writing. It’s very subtle. It’s somewhat poetic,” said Proof director Richard Stille. “What drew me about this play was its quietness. It really touches you in a strong way, but it does it very musically, very poetically, very quietly.”

The intricacy of Catherine and the range of emotions, including the fear of following in her father’s footsteps – both mathematically and mentally – is what drew Saanich actor Taylor to the role.

“The relationships are so complex, volatile and realistic,” said Taylor, who has been cast in 10 other plays with Langham Court.

“Catherine is so real. She’s not this innately likeable character, she’s not this villain, she’s this inherently flawed human being just trying to deal with what life throws at her, the best she can.”

Stille hopes the play resonates with audiences and allows them to reflect on their own relationships and trust with their partners.

“Some of our major difficulties as human beings in relationships comes over the issue of trust. Whether it has to do with whether someone is on your side or it has to do with sexual jealousy,” he said. “The issue seems to be one that comes up lots in relationships. I hope they’ll come away saying I need to trust my partner more.”

Proof runs until June 24 at Langham Court Theatre (805 Langham Crt.) Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors and $16 for students. For show times and other information visit langhamtheatre.ca or call 250-384-2142.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com

 

Melissa Taylor as Catherine and Liam McDonald at Hal in Langham Court Theatre’s production of Proof, on until June 24. Dave Lowes photo

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