Fringe Binge #5: The Abigail

Monday 27 July 2015
This post originally appeared on Raise the Hammer. 

Playwright: Aidan Tozer and Dylan Stavenjord
Director: Aidan Tozer and Dylan Stavenjord
Cast: Aidan Tozer, Dylan Stavenjord, Hilary Wirachowsky, Soroush Toloue, Jennah Foster-Catlack, Damian Murphy, Marienne Castro, Kayla Vanderlip, Richard Mojica
Warnings: Mature Content, Strong Language, Gun Shots
Show Type: Drama
Audience: Mature
Running Time: 90 minutes

"You should have taken the money, old man," says one of the two Edwards who make up Edward, Edward, and Associates, a pair of gangsters who kill Abigail Brown's father and sisters in the middle of the night. Their plan to seize the family's home and land doesn't go as planned when Abigail, just a child, manages to escape the senseless crime.

In the years that follow, the Browns' home becomes known simply as The Abigail, a tribute to the little girl who got away. The home is blindingly beautiful, but evil lurks inside, and all who live there are in various ways touched by it. The landmark home becomes a historic hotel and later a brothel. The audience doesn't know it right away, but one of its inhabitants is a grown-up Abigail Brown looking to reclaim the house that was stolen from her family.

The Abigail spans many decades, beginning with gangsters and ending with hippies who adopt the Abigail as their own. Filled with many twists and turns. The Abigail is epic; possibly too epic for a small Fringe Festival stage, but you can't help but applaud the young cast for embarking on such a lofty production. Despite it's long run-time (90 minutes), The Abigail uses both humour and drama to keep its audience engaged.

Overall, The Abigail is an amusing trip through time, but often, it's unnecessarily profane. Baby-faced actors employ slurs that may have once been commonplace, but aren't appropriate today. This production employs every gender stereotype possible, but in the playwrights' defense, they're not dealing with decades that were kind to women.

The Abigail explores many heavy themes, among them violence and greed, but in the end, it's love that triumphs. This ambitious journey is one worth taking.

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