The Alumnae Theatre is currently host to an incredible world premiere, Tunnel at the End of the Light. Written and directed by Jonathan Guy Lewis, this moving piece examines the lives of a former platoon, who fought together in Afghanistan, after the death of their captain. Featuring stellar performances and soul-bearing stories, Tunnel at the End of the Light needs to be on your to-see list this weekend!

Tunnel at the End of the Light is an incredibly unique play in terms of its creation and production. A fully collaborative experience between Lewis and the cast, the stories of the characters are heavily based in their real life experiences. The Roland Gossage Foundation funds the Soldiers in the Arts programme, which strives to make the lives of military families better through careers in the arts. Half of the cast of Tunnel at the End of the Light are veterans who are a part of this program. I thought it was incredibly brave of them to bare their souls to us through this play; most civilians have such a small concept of what our current veterans are dealing with day to day, and art is always a good window through which we can explore these difficult topics. The passion and dedication of everyone involved is evident in every moment of this play.

I immediately felt at home upon entering the theatre; the set looks like every legion I’ve ever been in all melded into one. The only thing out of place, of course, is the wooden casket in the middle of the set. However, it makes us perfectly aware of the situation right from the get-go. I loved the mis-matched chairs and tables, the coronation picture of Queen Elizabeth II, and the community board on the wall; Marysia Bucholc’s attention to detail is brilliant.

Clad in superhero attire, the cast of Tunnel at the End of the Light delivers a truly impressive performance. The definition of an ensemble cast, each actor gets a time to shine as their character and give us a full sense of the depths of their stories. M. John Kennedy and Cassidy Little have awesome chemistry to open the show and deliver remarkable performances throughout. They tell us so much about who Fitz and Rainman are right off the top, that it makes the later events of the play all the more startling. Tony White’s Bilbo is the calm centre of the group, and White exudes the knowledge and empathy of his character. Will Matheson and Reece Presley have similarly hilarious chemistry upon their entry into the show; their lighthearted moments delight and their darker, more painful moments bring tears to our eyes. Matheson is accompanied by his service dog Indi, a beautiful touch of reality so seamlessly incorporated into the play. I love that we heard about Ryan Hawkyard’s character Vic long before we ever meet him, the anticipation is fantastic and Hawkyard’s performance is worth the wait. Andrea Greening gives a stellar performance as Swanky; her character has such a compelling and fascinating story which she tells beautifully. Alexandra Floras-Matic gives a powerhouse performance as Joni, the Captain’s daughter. The range of emotions which Floras-Matic, along with the rest of the cast, is asked to experience during this story is so vast, and yet everything is handled with grace and respect.

I truly hope that I get to see more work of this kind; this experience was visceral and powerful in ways that could not be without its unique process. I’m also hoping that I’ll be seeing these incredible artists in future projects as well! Make sure you catch the final few performances this weekend! For more information and tickets, visit:

Photo by Dahlia Katz


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