Review: A Walk In The Woods by Lee Blessing - Tricycle Theatre

This two-hander is an idea-filled two hours of debate between an old Russian arms negotiator and his young American counterpart. The two meet in the woods through the 4 seasons of what could be a year or several, and through the process learn about one another, themselves, and the roles they play in the big scheme of international relations.

These two are at times funny, sad, relateable, and distant as they go through the personal struggles of two people whose jobs ultimately serve a meaningless purpose. At one point the Russian says something to the effect of "we want to believe humans want peace; look how much our countries spend on war..then look at what they spend on peace; only the two of us. If we were really peace-loving, there would only be two soldiers and hundreds of negotiators".

The two actors handled the material well, Steven Crossley stands out as the Russian. His wonderfully relaxed, casual attitude and desire to talk of less important things guides the audience through the path of the play, in the same way his character guides Joan, his counterpart. At times I found Myriam Cyr to be strained physically and vocally, which detracted from her otherwise enjoyably awkward performance as the work-a-holic young American idealist.

What I liked most about this play was the ideas it raised; talking afterward we were discussing that in this type of two-handed play, where both sides of the argument are presented as equally can see something similar to the impact of Greek Tragedy, whereby the audience is left considering both sides of the story.