One has to hand it to the Arts club theatre of Vancouver. Always willing to try something different they’ve scored quite a coup with Helen Lawrence. Set in 1948 Vancouver this film noire serves up classy performances right before your eyes at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. Known also as Vancouver Confidential this tour de force examines the plight of a series of low lifes. Switch Vancouver for any other city on the move and you’re bound to recognize the elements of this diverse crowd all out to make a buck.
Players living in the fast lane include a host of messed up lovers, police officials on the make, a man in debt to local mobsters and a tandem of Afro Americans out to eke out an existence in the local pub trade. Add on the odd prostitute or two and a jilted American with a harrowing past and you just know multiple secrets are bound to come home to roost, Designed and developed by trendsetting Chris Haddock Helen Lawrence weaves a troubled tale of babes, booze, bookies, corruption and revenge.
Cutting edge technology and state of the art visual techniques sees this 90 minute intermission free show have live actors in colour acting and moving behind a larger than life black and white projection leading to a dazzling juxtaposition effect.
Full of danger, romance and intrigue notable performances include Lisa Ryder as the vexing Helen, Alan Louis as barkeep Buddy Black a man with his own shed of secrets and Nicholas Lea as Percy Walker, a marked man in more ways than one.
Catchy edge of your seat fun with tons of Vancouver references and a fondness for horse racing all converge to make this slyly directed effort from Stan Douglas unstoppable entertainment.
For more information on Helen Lawrence, playing at the Arts Club’s Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until April 13 phone (604) 687-1644 or go to www.artsclub.com
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