The concluding chapter in Edmonton playwright Kenneth Brown’s Second World War melodrama confirms the trilogy’s place as a Canadian theatrical classic.
Who needs that Swedish girl with her hornet’s nest when we have Alberta flyboy Jack Harding’s heart-stopping journey from innocence to experience in the skies of Europe?
With counterintuitive genius, Brown often breaks the No. 1 rule of drama, "Show, don’t tell." Between scenes of character interaction — the one female and three males essay dozens of roles — Brown paints vivid expository scenes of air battles and bomb blasts.
It is amazing what these four talented performers do with their basic props — military costumes, four chairs, a rolling scaffold, a few metres of cloth.
The 90-minute production, by the way, stands alone. You don’t need to have seen the first two chapters, staged here at the 2008 and 2009 fringes. By the end, you will choke back tears of understanding at what the Greatest Generation survived both abroad and on the home front.
— Morley Walker
From the official Fringe Festival guide:
The third and final episode of the trilogy critics have called "amazing" … "moving" … "astounding" … "a Canadian classic in the making."
Jack Harding faces the heights of joy, the anguish of tragedy and the thrill of battle in the conclusion of the stunning drama that is Spiral Dive.
Don’t miss it.
Warnings: Language, Implied violence, mature themes
Canwest Performing Arts Centre (Venue 9), to Saturday