Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Volcano, in association with BeMe Theatre (Munich), has mounted a remarkable production of Daniel MacIvor’s play A Beautiful View. Earlier incarnations of the script presented a subtle yet complex relationship between two women that moves through a series of engaging encounters - appearing random on the surface, yet revealing the circuitous route one’s sexual and social energies can follow once confronted with strong bonding agents and coincidental meetings that frequently end up being less based on chance and more prone to the quirky somewhat obsessive tendencies of an ardent admirer. Becky Ross and Amy Rutherford, under the intricate direction of Ross Manson, infuse this exchange with physically diverse performances that are both daring and delightful.

Ross has a unique and thoroughly committed stage presence as the idiosyncratic character in search of an ever elusive romance. Amy Rutherford is able to play off of Ross’s layered vocal and physical mannerisms with a strong sense of a rooted personality tempted by and complicit with the wilful wiles her cohort manages to employ through a sixty-five minute journey. Both performers create memorable figures lost in a wilderness of misunderstanding, libidinal curiosity, and sincere affection for each other as they explore various ways of loving, leaving, and returning once again to the outdoorsy scene of their original meeting. Replete with endearing songs that verge on a kind of corniness essential to their floundering romance, the two women possess a versatility and poignancy that strengthens their every onstage move.

One of the many strengths of MacIvor’s script lies within the range of emotion that mixes with a sense of never quite knowing precisely what this duo are actually searching for. But they are crafted so expertly and placed so ingeniously in a series of short scenes that one is left with a very strong sense of having born witness to a beautiful view of two ordinary women surrounded by less than ordinary circumstances. Volcano, under the direction of Ross Manson, takes this quirky, frequently fraught emotional vista, and layers it with enormous skill as the lighting, sound, and very simple setting allow for a deeply expansive glimpse of heartfelt, at times mystifying human interaction.


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