2013 Vancouver Fringe Festival reviews: NET
The emotions and relationships on display in NET are remarkably poignant, especially for the university-student demographic. The dynamic cast, which includes Capilano University grads Erika and Nathan Babins, is funny, touching, and most importantly, brings to life the struggles faced by today’s twenty-somethings.
Don’t watch this play for an intricate plot or flashy effects — the entire piece takes place during a family reunion, and fancy lighting and sound are far from abundant. Instead, the strength of NET comes from the remarkable amount of emotion the cast carries across the stage in the brief 40-minute runtime.
Isabelle, Ashley and Sam, close friends since childhood, attempt to revive their friendship at a reunion after parting ways for school and work. Audience members with siblings will relate as Ashley and her brother Jon (who happens to be dating Sam, and who also happens to have eyes for Isabelle) fight and gingerly make up again. Twenty-somethings can also relate to the awkwardness of making conversation with a long-time acquaintance from the same hometown.
Poignancy aside, solid acting and good directing abounds in NET, as can be seen in the innovative placement of classically-styled monologues in a modern context. The production as a whole could use a little more zing, but NET is an enjoyable reminder of the value of relationships — no matter how occasionally frustrating — the joy of witty banter, and the complexities of love and friendship.
Remaining shows are at Studio 1398, 1398 Cartwright St., on Sept. 10 at 9:30 p.m., Sept. 13 at 10:25 p.m. and Sept. 15 at 6:50 p.m.