Intense. Emotional. Provocative. HIR is here.
Author Taylor Mac’s play HIR unfolds in front of the crowd like an updated version of a 1970’s sitcom. HIR (pronounced like “here”) is the story of a family in upheaval, where everything from dominant roles to genders are changing.
Rob Deman plays Isaac Connor, returning to his home after a discharge from the army. He finds his father, mother and sister, all have undergone grand transformations. One by one, the audience gets introduced to each. Isaac’s character is dutifully utilized to ask questions the audience is wondering. Both he and we attempt to understand the situation stumbled upon.
The entire emotional rollercoaster takes place in an open concept living room/kitchen area. Sound and lighting effects are seldom used but effective when needed, while props on the other hand are plentiful and detailed (be sure to check out the alphabet magnets on the fridge).
Seasoned and local director John Gerry should be extremely proud of this most recent production. Local theatre-goers will recognize him from previous shows: Red (2017) and The History Boys (2016).
All four actors are wonderful, earnest and awesomely believable. Ingrid Blekys masterfully conveys the emphatic jubilation her character Paige Conner feels as recent authoritarian of the household. Zoe Bernard perfectly captures the duality and emotions in flux of Max. Thomas also deserves special notice and congratulations for the accurate depiction of the post-stroke inflicted father.
Due to the mature subject matter and language, this will not be a play enjoyed by all however, those looking for a serious and emotional show should run to purchase tickets. Runs until Saturday Dec 15 on the McManus Stage at the Grand Theatre.
Hir by Taylor Mac
Presented by Calithumpian Theatre Company
Directed by John Gerry