Flesh And Other Fragments of Love

Emotions overflow in this lyrically dense, mysterious romance

Written by Evelyne de la Cheneliere
Novel by Marie Cardinal
Translated by Linda Gaboriau
Directed by Richard Rose

Maria del Mar, Nicole Underhay with Blair Williams. Photography by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Relationships are broken down and reinvented in Flesh and Other Fragments of Love, a poetic three-hander by Quebec playwright Evelyne de la Chenelière, based on Marie Cardinal’s renowned novel Une vie pour deux, now playing at Tarragon Theatre.

Set on the Irish Coast, the story follows a vacationing couple, Simone (Maria del Mar) and Pierre (Blair Williams), in the aftermath of a gruesome discovery. The decomposing body of a drowned woman, Mary (Nicole Underhay), haunts them for the duration of the tripthe mystery of her circumstances bringing to light issues in their own marriage.

Set and costume designer Karyn McCallum's seaweed-inspired backdrop sets the stage for a murky investigation deep into the heart of love and fidelity. As Simone and Pierre discuss the mystery of Mary's identity, the spirit of a feisty, thick-skinned young Irish nurse rises up figuratively, and literally, as Underhay writhes and wriggles her way up off the stage, feeding Simone's paranoid obsession with Pierre’s philandering ways. In the end Simone’s fixation becomes all-consuming, threatening to swallow her whole.

Richard Rose’s production could use polishing in parts, but overall the piece is fast-paced and engaging. Each cast member gives committed, if inconsistent, performances, with Underhay stealing the show as the resilient ghost of Mary. De la Chenelière’s script is bursting with wonderfully potent, descriptive language that digs under the skin. Flesh and Other Fragments of Love is a battle of the sexes, detective story and tragic romance all rolled into one.

Flesh and Other Fragments of Love runs until February 16 at Tarragon Theatre. Visit tarragontheatre.com for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Tue, 2014-01-07 - Sun, 2014-02-16
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