Charles Dorfman (Guy) and Roxanne Pallett (Tyler) in Buckland Theatre Company's Some Girl(s) at Park Theatre. Credit Claire Bilyard
Neil LaBute's Some Girl(s) sees 'Guy' (Charles Dorfman) embark on a tour around the US to 'put things right' with four of his ex-girlfriends. He's about to get married so perhaps this is about drawing a line under one chapter of his life as he embarks on another. Perhaps.
Over the four meetings, in four different hotel rooms, in four different cities, we learn more about Guy and the women that have been in his life. With some simple but clever set changes - one anodyne hotel room picture is changed for another, the bed is moved and bedding swapped etc - we are transported from meeting to meeting.
Sam (Elly Condron) is Guy's High School sweetheart in Seattle. His first romance whom he broke up with shortly before their prom. Sam was a nice, safe, girl and is now married with children but there is something about the break up that still rankles her. Guy fumbles his way through an explanation but not everything rings true.
We then jump to Tyler (Roxanne Pallett) in Chicago. Tyler is the opposite of Sam. She's a free spirited, party girl and sexually adventurous and Guy is tempted by her all over again. But there is more to the meeting, for Tyler, than rekindling old flames. There is a side to her that Guy underestimated during their relationship and she sees through him.
Next is Lindsay (Carolyn Backhouse) in Boston. She's the older woman and the married woman whom he ran out on when they got caught. Lindsay also has Guy's card and proposes an interesting way in which he can make amends for the hurt he caused.
Some Girl(s) is part relationship comedy and part relationship study. Charles Dorfman subtly changes Guy's body language with each encounter - a reflection on the nature of each relationship. He reminded me of a cross between Ross from Friends and Stephen Mangan's Guy from Green Wing. But there is more to him than his bumbling, insensitive nature would first suggest and Neil La Bute's has you constantly questioning his motives.
The dialogue crackles with subtext, Condron, Pallett, Backhouse and Stenson all playing very different women with undercurrents of contrasting emotions. There are odd references that date the play - it was written in 2005 - but its observations of male/female relationship remain fresh. It is funny and occasionally sad, well-observed and well done.
It's run at the Park Theatre finishes on August 6 and it is two hours and 15 minutes with an interval. I'm giving it four stars.
(As the weather has been particularly summery it is important to note that the theatre does have good air-conditioning.)
Elly Condron (Sam) in Buckland Theatre Company's Some Girl(s) at Park Theatre. Credit Claire Bilyard
Carolyn Backhouse (Lindsay) in Buckland Theatre Company's Some Girl(s) at Park Theatre. Credit Claire Bilyard