Overdramatic, Unbelievable Atmosphere

Review of Amy's View @ ArtsWest by Joyce R.

Amy's View is hectic. Though there are only 6 characters, there is so much going on in this play. Problem after problem comes up, so much so, that I find the main storyline hard to follow. There is Amy’s new boyfriend that her mother doesn’t approve of, pregnancy, husband troubles, money troubles, debates on the death of theatre, how to be a good actor, mother-daughter relationship, aging grandmother, death, trust, judgment, and many more. Perhaps I’m just being thick, but I can’t put my finger on the exact plotline.

Photo courtesy of ArtsWest

Though the acting is good, I find that the many problems that arise give the play an overdramatic, unbelievable atmosphere, and make the play feel directionless. Writer David Hare seems to try to encompass and give commentary on every aspect of life, and in doing so, the play gets lost in a labyrinth of problems. But it is impossible to encompass ALL of life. There is just too much to fit into a 2 and a half hour play, and overstuffing the play with drama has the negative effect of making the play feel aimless. A quality I personally don’t enjoy.

There are many redeeming aspects though. In addition to the good acting, there are moments of profoundness, moments that are though-provoking, and relatable. Though the heightened drama seems unrealistic to me, there are moments when Esmé, Amy’s mother (Julie Jamieson), is arguing with her daughter, that I can find parallels to my own arguments with my parents. There are moments when Amy’s words, be them blissfully naïve or filled with many years of experience, that I see parts of my own ideas and emotions. These moments feel very real, no matter how absurd I find the situations to be.

Someone else might find metaphors and deeper meanings hidden in the plot twists, but I don’t. Though the play isn’t unpleasant and there are some lines that make me laugh, I don’t enjoy how the storyline doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be, and I left the play feeling unsure of what the author is really trying to say.

Amy's View
Through October 1

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