An important note about the live feed is in how it’s done. The camera operators, dressed in 40’s garments, are made up of the actors themselves. The feed is streamed in black and white, helping mimic the film noirs and hard-boiled themes of the era. By turning attention to the stage beyond the screen, viewers are able to watch the show in living color. This shifting of perspective is interesting, especially when it comes to aspects such as clothing.
The costumes, done by Nancy Bryant, are a staple of the show. The clothes translate pleasingly to black and white and watching a bright green jacket turn dark grey on screen gives the play depth. For me, the costumes brought a sense of mystery and detective work, which I found quite fitting with the show.
Because of the on screen close-ups it is possible to watch the delicate changes in the expressions of the characters. The cliché of theatre actors being over zealous with their acting and being told to “pull it back” for the camera is not something that applies to Helen Lawrence. In fact, the acting in this show is spot on. Being able to watch the subtle actions and reactions of the characters made the show believable and its characters rooted. Helen Lawrence is the perfect femme fatale and I was not surprised to learn that Ryder, like many of the other actors, has spent time working in both theatre and film/television. This variability in experience was likely vital in the casting of this show.
Helen Lawrence is an in sync medley of art and technology. This show is sure to satisfy theatregoers of all sorts.
Vancouver is the show’s first stop; catch it before it makes its way to Toronto, Montreal, Munich, etc.
Tickets are available through the Arts Club website. The show is playing until April 13th!