This week, Valley Summer Theatre gets underway with Marion Bridge in the Al Whittle Theatre, which previews on July 3.
Marion Bridge is Hants County-based playwright Daniel MacIvor’s best known and most produced play. This funny and heartwarming play is the story of three sisters who hold a bitterly comic vigil over their ailing mother.
A two-act play set in Sydney, it has been called the Cape Breton writer’s most conventional work as it reckons with a family history that has pushed the trio their separate ways.
The first act develops from the return home of Agnes MacKeigan from Toronto. She resists getting emotionally caught up in her mother’s imminent death because of resentment at having had to give up her daughter.
Agnes butts heads with her sister ‘Saint’ Theresa, who picks up the slack from her wayward sister and whose sense of martyrdom further fuels Agnes’ anger.
The youngest sister, Louise, has beat a retreat to the television, where she buffers herself from her family’s melodrama by escaping into the proxy fantasy lives of talk shows and soap operas.
MacIvor establishes, through the bitter but often humorous banter between the three sisters that they are, in various ways, at sea in their lives.
The second act involves a reconstitution of sorts, as the three women progressively band together and find ways out of their emotional binds.
Rich in characterization, warm and funny, Marion Bridge was nominated for the 1999 Governor-General’s Award and was made into a feature film in 2002. MacIvor has been busy performing his one-man show, Who Killed Spalding Gray, at the Magnetic North Festival in Halifax.
Marion Bridge will run until July 20. Tickets are available at the Box of Delights in Wolfville.