December 19, 2014
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Wilbury Group's 'Lungs' is engaging theatre
Don Fowler

“A baby!” W shouts out loud in the middle of an IKEA store, grabbing our attention for this engaging 90-minute, one-act, two-character play.

W is the young woman in Duncan MacMillan’s clever play about a young, unmarried couple who contemplate the pros and cons of bringing another human being into this already overpopulated, dangerous world.

Rachel Dulude is W, a complex, sometimes spastic, anxious, chatterbox of a woman who “thinks out loud,” sometimes in lengthy monologues. Jed Hancock-Brainerd is M, her partner who brought up the subject and set a long “conversation” in motion that continues over a long period of time.

Director Steve Kidd, already an accomplished actor at Gamm Theatre, shows that he can take a play with no stage directions and make it his own. The play takes place on a bare floor in an old mill, with no scenery, curtains, props, costumes or lighting. There are just the two actors, subtly communicating passage of time, changing mood and having conversations. This requires perfect timing from Dulude and Hancock-Brainerd, and they deliver. She has the most to say and says it in a rapid pace, using quite a bit of profanity to make her points. He is at his best when he is responding, often non-verbally, to her outbursts.

“We’re good people, aren’t we?” she asks. And they are. They recycle; they support charities; they plant trees; they are kind to all. But should they bring a child into a less than perfect world?

Dulude has some great moments as she rants and raves, contemplates and thinks out loud. Some of her concerns are real and some are a bit of a stretch. Joyce, being a mother, related strongly to a number of issues raised. I thought the author overwrote at times, beating some issues to death. The play has a couple of interesting twists at the end when W and M meet after a separation.

Wilbury Group continues to find and present provocative, meaningful and entertaining theatre, finding talented actors and directors. Their space at the old Butcher Block Mill at 25 Eagle St. in the Olneyville section of Providence offers all kinds of production opportunities. Theatre lovers will not want to miss this production, which continues through Oct. 24.

For tickets and information visit www.thewilburygroup.com or call 400-7100. They have just received their non-profit status.


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