Vancouver’s Delinquent Theatre has brought their smash hit Never the Last all the way from the west coast to the Mainspace of Theatre Passe Muraille! A beautifully tragic story based on real events, Never the Last is a moving experience told through music, movement, projections, and text.
There was a line in the play where Walter describes Sonia as “angular but soft on the inside” and I thought that the set was a perfect reflection of his sentiments. The three walls which make up the set have these pieces which stick out all over and the projections at times exaggerate their angularity. The combo of the white walls and projection allow the story to take us through space and time, but also to predominantly focus on the performers.
I really enjoyed the story of Never the Last; not only was it a beautiful telling of the lives of these people, but I enjoyed the meta theatrical moments as well. It means plenty of direct address, but also interesting moments where Sonia would give notes to The Violinist or beg her to play another piece. What’s even more interesting for me was trying to figure out whose side The Violinist is on; while she often takes Sonia’s notes into account, she also ignores some of her pleas and continues on with the story. The music, and the musician then, function in service to the story, no matter how difficult it gets.
The play stars its creators, Molly MacKinnon and Christine Quintana as The Violinist and Sonia respectively, along with Amitai Marmorstein as Walter. Quintana takes us on this journey with her truthful, powerful performance and incredible command of the stage. Marmorstein gives a nuanced and perfectly heartbreaking performance as Walter; his vulnerability and presence make Walter a fascinating character. MacKinnon’s musical talent gets to shine with both her violin and her voice being featured throughout the performance. However, as I mentioned, I like that she’s not merely an accompanist, but a full character herself, with emotion and movement all her own. Collectively, they beautifully tell this story and keep us enchanted with every moment.
Never the Last won’t be here for much longer! Make sure you get your tickets to this amazing production before it closes April 16th. For more information and tickets, visit: https://www.passemuraille.ca/22-23-season/never-the-last/
Molly MacKinnon, Christine Quintana, Amitai Marmorstein. Photo Credit: Jeremy Mimnagh