By Kalinowski, Tim on February 19, 2020.
Theatre Outre presents Bryden MacDonald’s “Whale Riding Weather” at Didi’s Playhaus Feb. 24-28.
Chronicling the relationship between three gay men as they intersect at a key moment in their lives, gentle wit and humour leavened with the tragic elements of human existence create a powerful and emotional experience for the audience, says the play’s co-lead Allister MacDonald.
“The play is about this aging gay man who is slipping into a bit of alcoholic dementia, and he’s in a relationship with a younger man in his 40s,” explains MacDonald. “And it is pretty unhealthy, maybe even slightly abusive, but they are definitely stuck in it. And then my character Jude, like an angel, comes in and falls in love with the younger lover and kind of convinces him maybe his situation isn’t so great. It’s interesting to see the dynamic between older-age characters, middle-aged characters, and younger-age characters of someone in their 20s.”
This is the first time the acclaimed “Whale Riding Weather” will be presented in Alberta, says MacDonald.
At heart, he says, the play speaks to everyone on a level so tragic, funny and human it transcends all experience.
“What’s great about this play is it is a queer story, but it shows that the relationships these guys are in are so human,” he says. “It’s not on the nose, and it’s not stereotypical, but it is truthful to a lot of the relationships I have seen being a gay man. It’s a very personal play. Even if you are straight, you can still key into the mental-health issues in the show, perhaps falling out of love with someone, abuse of substances, being in a relationship that has cyclical abuse and emotional abuse.”
“Whale Riding Weather” will be presented in Lethbridge on Feb 24-28 and at the West Village Theatre in Calgary this week. Tickets are available at the door and cost $20 in Lethbridge and $25 in Calgary. All performances start at 8 p.m.
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