Sarah Harper and Denny Kaulback played the part in the Revelstoke Theatre Company's production of Fuel.

Revelstoke Theatre Company’s Fuel brings sizzling performances to festival

The Kootenay Zone Fest ended conflagration Saturday night with an explosive production by Revelstoke Theatre Company in Nakusp.

By Lori Benjamin, Special to the Arrow Lakes News

Talk about adding Fuel to the fire! The Kootenay Zone Festival concluded with a conflagration Saturday night with an explosive production by Revelstoke Theatre Company at the Bonnington.

Fuel, by Jarod Blake, is a one act play depicting the struggle of a man (Jonathon King), played by Denny Kaulback, with addiction (Narrator/Addiction) Sarah Harper.

The measure of a play’s success can be judged by the reaction of the audience: Fuel got a standing ovation.

This was not an easy experience for the actors or for the audience. The subject material itself is disturbing, but the presentation is positively brilliant.

Playwright Jarod Blake writes a semi-autobiographical piece giving addiction a personality, a human presence, an influence which can be appreciated by anyone who has ever experienced addiction – and a perspective and insight to those who have not, but who may have witnessed the effects of addiction on someone they know.

Denny Kaulback plays Jonathon King to perfection. His determination to overcome his addiction is evident in scene one, as he declares, “I want to write!” and uses as a mantra Mo-tiv-a-tion.

Sarah Harper, the narrator, does a brilliant job of projecting to the audience what is going through Jonathon’s head. “I think I’ve fallen in love,” she says. Expressive facial expressions and dancer’s gestures leave no doubt as to her intentions. She becomes an entity in his life: her (Addiction’s) obsession with the man continues as she tells him “I am all you’ve got. No family, no friends, no bank account. I fuel you!”

Throughout the play, Sarah emphasizes the drama of addiction. King lies to his employer, to his mother, to his girlfriend to protect his affliction.

Grief, shame, remorse – the Narrator plays on these emotions to sabotage Jonathon’s attempts to get sober and in the process becomes so obsessed she loses control and experiences the withdrawal symptoms, a powerful scene where Sarah Harper’s background in dancing is Shakespearean in drama and essential to the play.

Adjudicator Danielle Dunn-Morris has a history with this production, having seen it at Mainstage where the character of Addiction was played by a man. The playwright Jarod Blake attended a performance in Revelstoke, and agreed with Director Lyn Kaulback that the narrator could be a woman and that the man could be depicted as older than the original character.

These changes, says Dunn-Morris, have given the play an additional dimension. Jonathon exhibits a whole other pathos; there is a joy for the character in creating a huge range of emotions. Having Sarah (Addiction) experience the horror of withdrawal validates her theme of the drama of addiction and shocks the audience.

The final scene is beautiful, asserts Dunn-Morris. As Jonathon takes up his writing, he directs Addiction to exit, stage left, and our last view of her is sleeping in her chair with a look of defeat on her face.

The intensity of the production is exacerbated by the simplicity of the set which was realistic, but never distracting, and by the lighting and sound which were exceptionally effective.

Congratulations, Revelstoke Theatre Company. You’ve done it again. Kudos.

 

Just Posted

Revelstoke ladies make 2,200 cabbage rolls for charity

The money raised was donated to former NHL player Aaron Volpatti, who is raising funds for ALS

Revelstoke Golf Club open weeks early

The club didn’t open until May last year

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Clear skies and pushing 20 C

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny and warm Easter weekend

Revelstoke roads and weather: mix of sun and cloud

Heavy rains have destabilized the snowpack. Be careful in the backcountry

Update: Fire destroys Peachland home on Somerset Avenue

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Summerland student examines effects of sound

Science fair project will go to national competition in New Brunswick

Cuteness overload: duckling thinks dog is its mom

Vernon photographer Fiona Hook shot a cute video after noticing one of her ducklings had taken a special liking to her dog.

Sons of Anarchy’s Kim Coates stops by Okanagan café

Coates was spotted in West Bank’s Kekuli Café on April 20

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read