Review- The Glass Menagerie- The Shadow Players


By Dakota Duclo




Enjoying theatre is about one being able to suspend their disbelief, from the start of an 8 o’clock curtain until they close up. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but with plays like that of Tennessee Williams, it’s not quite as difficult. The Shadow Players stepped up to the plate for this challenge, and though they did not hit a home run so to speak, they did not disappoint.


If you’re not familiar with Williams, you should see this play all the same. That said, let’s pick apart what we saw.


The set was basic and never changing, giving the audience view of what seems to be a small yet familiar idea of what an average Hong Kong apartment space looks like. In clear view are a sofa, dining table, and a dresser.

Behind it all, something of a retro backdrop withdrawn in housing features, which if anything, we can leave to public opinion on how it compares. One thing to be reminded of is the balcony, and the blatant symbolism it emulates. It was set up very simply, though used in a way where it felt as though everyone got the point.

All of this seemed to “work”, as our Shadow Players gave us some alterations when it came to the characters family name, origin, and setting. Hats off to the stage manager who cued the show well, ensuring that the lighting and sound were well timed and easily resonant with the actors and their positioning onstage. The lighting and sound design itself was enough to show that whoever was in charge of tech, were certainly not without experience or prowess.



Moving forward, it must be understood this is a character-driven play. Our actors as a unit, unfortunately, did not drive the ball all the way home, yet they did, however, showcase wonderful moments throughout and things of which can be improved.


Beginning first with Tom, played by Christopher Tsui, it cannot be denied there is indeed potential here. There are occasional moments in an actor’s performance that you cherish every time you see them because they are considered to be so rare. These moments can’t be described in one word, but only as a point in the play where you truly feel the actor believes every word they’re saying to the letter. Christopher had these moments, although, he lacks consistency. To clarify, Tom not only interacts with the other characters, but he also narrates the play. Christopher fell short in attempting to separate the two, which was not the best choice to make. Tom is vulnerable when addressing his mother and sister, but he cannot lose that quality when he’s addressing the audience. It’s not a question of two different characters – Tom, and the narrator- they are one and the same, and the writing gives the actor this clue.

Whether this was a director’s choice, or the actor’s, this is something that should not be overlooked. Rosalind Wong had a timid-ness to her that works, though at times she seemed a bit too quiet. When the person writing the review is sitting in the front row and at any point has trouble making out the lines, that’s an issue. Constantly staying engaged with the world on the stage is something to also take under advisement.

Joseph Lin displayed projection, confidence, and even charm. However, his line delivery was often flat, and half-hearted, making one wonder if he’s really invested in this at all. He’s a great looking guy and he has presence, but actors aren’t meant to pretend onstage, they’re meant to live.

Praise does go out to Minna Cheung. Though it shouldn’t be ignored that she’s absolutely way too young for this role, she made it her own and committed to it 1,000 per cent which is all you can ever really ask from any actor. She was believable, comical, dramatic, intelligent, and insane, all at the same time. Be on the look-out for this one, because as they, “she’s going places”.

                Certainly keeping in mind that this is an independent theatre company, much of what is seen should be expected. All things considered, this was still an enjoyable show and one that everyone should see. Tennessee Williams for all his faults possesses more strength than weakness. With that said, for anyone who tries to tackle his work, they deserve the utmost respect.

The Glass Menagerie is a story that most anyone can relate to, and if you understand what it is to feel trapped in life, it won’t take long before it all just clicks. 

Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: ---


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