In times of transition and conflict holding on to one’s identity may not be possible. Norman “The Dresser” is in just that predicament.
~Photos and Review by Dana Nollsch~
Outside the theater war rages, bombs falling all around them, but the show must go on. The setting is mid-1940’s in Britan where a troupe of stage actors travel from theater to theater entertaining the people of this war-torn country. To make things even more dramatic the lead actor and company manager has problems of his own, and those problems become a challenge for everyone around him.
Sir, the lead actor is struggling with failing health and the pressure of running a traveling theater troupe is not helping. Norman, his dresser who has been with him for 15 years does his best to keep Sir on track but this is not easy. The rest of the troupe are also quite concerned, but the show must go on. The play opens with Norman getting Sir ready for his role in Othello but this is not an easy task for Norman.
“The Dresser” was written by Ronald Harwood based on his own experiences as the dresser to Sir Donald Wolfit. The story is indeed intense and brilliantly written with a sensitivity to the plight of those who are trying to hang on to the life they know but at the same time knowing that life is about to change forever.
The cast is more than brilliant in bringing these dynamic characters to life.
Chip Arnold brings the troubled Sir to stage with a power and sensitivity that may at times bring you to tears. For this role, Chip shaved his beard and cut his long hair only to glue on a prosthetic beard and sport a wig not that unlike the hair he once had.
Scott Dundas plays Norman, the frustrated dresser, with quiet emotion that is palatable like an out of control train. Scott’s performance may bring you to tears as you see the love he has for the man he has served for 15 years.
Holly Natwora plays Her Ladyship, Sir’s leading lady, Holly shows us that Her Ladyship has regrets for the choices she has made as the winds of change blow forever shifting the way her beloved theater will be.
My take away:
“The Dresser” is a powerful story and with a cast to do this production justice, yes go see it! Theater at its best.
For now, check out the photos for a taste of what you will see.
“The Dresser” Plays through February 9th, 2019 and for detailed dates and times check out Bruka’s website: http://www.bruka.org/
CHIP ARNOLD as SIR
SCOTT DUNDAS as NORMAN
HOLLY NATWORA as HER LADYSHIP
HEATHER EATON as MADGE
CASSADY ANDERSON as IRENE
NICK RAMIREZ as OXENBY
JON LUTZ as GEOFFREY
MICHAEL PETERS as GLOUCESTER
CODY CANNON as KENT/ALBANY/GENTLEMAN
DIRECTOR by DAVID RICHARDS
STAGE MANAGER, JULIA BUTLER
SET DESIGN/BUILD, LEWIS ZAUMEYER
LIGHTING & SOUND DESIGN & OPERATION, DAVID SIMPSON
COSTUME DESIGN, LYNDSEY LANGSDALE
PROPS, CODY CANON, DAVID SIMPSON & COMPANY
COMPANY PHOTOGRAPHY/LOCATION VIDEO, DANA NOLLSCH
POSTER DESIGN, DAVID RICHARDS/MARY BENNETT