The young couple at the centre of this play struggle to pursue careers in the arts before having to decide whether to keep going after their dreams or just become complacent, working cogs in the machine of capitalism.
Above the Hospital truly embodies what it is like to be a young person trying to become an adult and thrive in Vancouver. It tackles ideas of hope for the future and coming to terms with the possibility of failure. It’s a well-written, relatable (yet slightly tangential) piece that is likely to resonate with most of the young audience.
For a play that is constantly reminding you of the fact that it is set in Vancouver, it was surprising to see the lack of diversity among the cast. Given the multiculturalism within the city, I expected that the directing team would choose to represent it on stage. Unfortunately, they clearly did not.
That is not to say that these actors did not do a great job. I was thoroughly impressed by Mira Maschmeyer, who plays Lauren. The actress tackles large chunks of dialogue with ease and has a strong sense of the physicality of her character. As well, I was impressed by the shift we see in Cameron (played by Tristan Smith) between the first and second acts. Both actors portray the changes in their relationship in a way that made tensions between them practically palpable for the audience. As some moments got particularly tense, I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat, almost waiting with the other characters onstage to see how far things would go.
Overall, Above The Hospital is a new play that deals with contemporary issues that most Millennials would identify with. It combines moments of playfulness with more serious topics of discussion, which are all too relevant for 20-something.
The show plays at the Red Gate Revue Stage every day through January 21st. Tickets and other information can be found here.