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Review: Mustard

By SHERI RADFORD

Heidi Damayo and Andrew McNee. Set design by Kevin McAllister, costume design by Carmen Alatorre, and lighting design by Alan Brodie. Photo by Mark Halliday.

Time is running out to see Mustard. This darkly funny play centres on 16-year-old Thai (Heidi Damayo) and her imaginary friend, Mustard (Andrew McNee). Though Thai is almost grown and it’s clearly time for Mustard to move on, he’s reluctant to leave Thai and her mother, Sadie (Jenny Wasko-Paterson), who are struggling to cope after the departure of Thai’s father. McNee brings his usual comedic brilliance to a role that demands a huge emotional range, from comic pratfalls to existential angst. Damayo and Wasko-Paterson deliver solid performances as a daughter and mother caught in grief and constant conflict. Less successful are the secondary characters: Chirag Naik as Jay, the histrionic boyfriend, and Shekhar Paleja and Brett Harris as a pair of fantastical goons with a puzzling penchant for both light-hearted wordplay and gory violence. Although uneven, the show is entertaining throughout.

Chirag Naik, Heidi Damayo, and Jenny Wasko-Paterson. Set design by Kevin McAllister, costume design by Carmen Alatorre, and lighting design by Alan Brodie. Photo by Mark Halliday.

Written by Kat Sandler, Mustard won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play in 2016. It runs until Oct. 20, 2018, at the Granville Island Stage.

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