Tonight, at the Firehall Arts Centre, Good Egg opens with lead actor Brooke Walker limping her way through the blocking, after having broken her toe recently. Theatre is a live event, where anything can go wrong on stage and the actors have to deal with the consequences. That’s the beauty of it; you never know quite what you’re in for even if you’ve seen the play a million times. Good Egg, with it’s short run, will likely have to deal with Walker’s injury for the whole week.
Just recently, a performance of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway had to stop mid-performancedue to technical difficulties. Audience members said it was still one of the most captivating pieces of theatre they had ever seen.
Walker, a Vancouver Film School graduate, may not be delivering the performance she expected to give, but it is the unexpected that keeps theatre alive. Sometimes, the best performances are the ones given when actors are sick, overwhelmed, or injured, because they are forced to strip down their performances. It is hard to overdo your acting when you are focusing on how terrible you feel, and it can lead to the most honest performances of the run.
Once, I was lucky enough to watch a performance of Titanic at Theatre Under the Stars, during a chaotic thunderstorm. Parts of the play had to be modified so that actors wouldn’t be in danger from lighting or rain, and most of the audience left with their complimentary rain-check tickets. Those of us who were left bunch up at the front of the seats in our yellow TUTS ponchos, and watched a captivating, thrilling performance. There’s a different feeling when things go wrong. The audience of that performance of Titanic was full of people who really wanted to be there, and the connection we felt with the actors was more powerful than most I had experienced.
Will her injury be a benefit to Good Egg? Who knows. But by running with it and pushing through, Walker is a credit to her craft.
Good Egg plays August 22-26 at the Firehall Arts Centre.
Tickets: $30 | Location: Firehall Arts Centre | Website