Playwright: Kelley Jo Burke
Director: Crystal Jonasson
Cast: Andrea Adcock and Allison Warwick
Review by: Tom Mackan
I come to this production late in its run at Fringe. It has two more showings in its Fringe life. Judging from the audience yesterday (Wednesday), its size in numbers close to ‘full house’, what’s been said about “Jane’s Thumb” already has done its work well. Let me just say that if Director Crystal Jonasson and her actors, Andrea Adcock and Allison Warwick, were a return on financial investment, there’d be a few more millionaires playing the market. As a return on the critical and popular of the metaphor, there’s pure gold in the Aquarius studio.
Simply set, black on black, minimalist to the umpht, actors costumed in stark white, lights and other fx masterfully designed and used, pace and clarity first rate, this story from the womb, through fantasy, fairy tale and painful reality ranks high in the front runners this 2013 season of Hamilton Fringe.
Without any reference to sources I opined that this was not so much a directed performance as a collaborative success among Director Jonasson and her two actors, Adcock and Warwick. The result is virtually flawless. The subject of the story is of a journey from nowhere to life. It is epic. It is painful, horrific, terrible, nauseating, hilarious, frightening, cautionary, death-defying, fantastic, and we are not spared a scintilla of it all. If life, as some would have it, is meaningless, getting to the life as related in “Jane’s Thumb” must be the most wasted labour conceived ever. You’ve heard of the miracle of birth? If you accept that birth is miraculous and you’ve seen this performance by Andrea Adcock, you’ll be re-thinking. Adcock has a wealth of skills, a bank full, and she’s brought some of the best of her store to this performance. Some births may be miracles, one minute not here, here the next, and all is supernaturally a given. But if the supernatural reverts to the natural and wants to provide a fight, writer Kelley Jo Burke has been there and her story is here to give light to the gruesome facts. Her creation of Jane is nothing unless she has an Adcock to realize it. My bank of descriptive language for her performance is exhausted and from watching it happen, is delightfully overdrawn and I’ll have to borrow: “Miraculous”.
To tell you about the gifted Allison Warwick, as “Thumb”, I’m afraid, tempts the spoiler in all this. Hers is the role on which the success of Adcock’s achievement stands, and I can think of no other praise than to say that she came through with a treasury of gifts of her own as an actor. Beat for beat, she and Adcock are joined with a cord and just leave it at that.
Oh well, I’ll just say it. As “Thumb”, Warwick is the foetus to Adock’s placenta. Happy? I am.
Watch Crystal Jonasson, local directors and producers. She’s got the gift. Congratulations to Producer Hayley Sweet and her Stage Manager, David Rundle. Slick work, all of it.
This show has only two performances to go, Saturday and Sunday. Get your timetable out and see it, if you can get a seat. The line-up is a given. Tell them I sent you. It might help. Hmmm?