Reviews

A thought-provoking piece full of brilliant images: “Coming Up For Air”

Coming Up For Air gasmask_lrg Actor- Bernard Cuffling Photo- Ted Cole

Kay Meek Centre presents Coming Up For Air, a stunningly well performed one-person play starring the ever-talented Bernard Cuffling.

George Bowling (Bernard Cuffling) is an insurance salesman who through his winning of seventeen pounds from a horse-race bet, decides to go back and explore the village of his childhood. He is faced with the inevitability of change, the hardship of life, and the beauty, the joy and the pain of memory. The storyline is brilliantly written and doesn’t shy from investigating how we conceptualize these parts of life as human beings.

Although impressively written, Cuffling’s execution of the text, character, and themes is what makes the piece so beautiful. Cuffling faithfully displays incredible imagery through his voice, body and passion. He truly experienced all the emotion and action, all while bringing the audience along with him. His images were clear, and his character embodiment was authentic. He was well articulated and projected, with evident dynamic, never leaving a moment dull.

The production aspects were carefully thought out, and executed well. The set had a unique slanted build, elevated allowing for great audience connection.   Painted with a suitable mix of greens, greys and browns, the set matched the initial emotional tone. As George Bowling experiences his memories, the set was contrasted with both clear black and white and vivid coloured pictures projected on the screen in the background. The lighting was bright, and too followed closely Bowling’s experience. The sound was very crisp, well-timed, and appropriately leveled out.

Overall the production was an excellent piece of vibrant, attention grabbing story-telling. Please be aware that Coming Up For Air has some triggering sections surrounding the horrors of war.

Coming Up For Air runs at the Kay Meek Centre until November 25th. Tickets and information here.

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