Arts & Life, Theatre

Theatre review: Harvest

Tom Anniko, basket, with Megan McCarton. Photo credit: Bruce Monk
There’s a pretty cynical calculation behind Ken Cameron’s script of what appeals to older Canadian theatre goers. Nostalgic moralizing, crusty humour (“gay” is still a punchline, apparently) and predictable relationship sparring fill Harvest, PTE’s risk-averse season closer. A potent scenario – a grow-op sprouts in a retiring couple’s farmhouse – doesn’t flower with laughs or drama, as though the writer said, “What’s the least interesting choice I can make here.”

That leaves Tom Anniko and Megan McArton to invent whatever chemistry they can on their own. And while they do find some theatre-gamey fun bouncing between characters and animating Brian Perchaluk’s beautiful garden set – guided by a director who’s used to crafting PTE shows for younger, Munsch-adoring audiences – there aren’t many genuine moments (comic or otherwise) to win the audience over. A softly whispered endearment when the couple break back into their home is actually surprising for its sincerity.

Do veteran Canadian audiences really want this kind of Harvest?

Tom-Anniko, sitting, and Megan-McCarton. Photo credit: Bruce Monk.


By Ken Cameron

Prairie Theatre Exchange

Through April 20

Directed by Arne MacPherson; with Tom Anniko and Megan McArton; set and costume design by Brian Perchaluk; lighting design by Larry Isacoff; original music composed by Greg Lowe; assistant directed by Andraea Sartison; stage managed by Michelle Lagasse; apprentice stage managed by Ayden Buss.

Matthew TenBruggencate is a Winnipeg-based writer. He is owned by two cats. Follow him @tenbruggencate, where is he spreading nasty rumours about you.