Joan MacLeod’s The Valley is Topical and Emotionally Gripping

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Especially pertinent at the moment, The Valley by Victoria’s Joan MacLeod struck a nerve with the audience to create a touching, emotional journey.

Inspired by real events, this play takes larger social issues of mental health and the relationship police have with the public and breaks it into four specific stories. It manages to condense the emotional rollercoaster of two separate relationships into a spectacular two hours. Both humorous and thought-provoking, The Valley is dark and moody in the best way possible, revealing in its portrayal of the human condition.

Each of the characters have likeable qualities mixed into their troubled backgrounds and problematic traits. Along with tight dialogue and fast-paced set changes these actors manage to capture all of their emotions and display them all so honestly. It was amazing to live their breakdowns with them, and experience the cathartic release as issues resolved. The mind of depressed teenager Connor spawned imaginative and dark worlds in the mountains, and the heavy scenes of his depression were mirrored in the painted backdrop surrounding the characters. Although initially this isn’t apparent, as we delve deeper into everyone’s stories it becomes gloomier and more relatable, reflecting their emotions from every direction.

Leaving the theatre, I felt emotional and introspective. It’s a must watch for everybody who can in Victoria. The Valley plays February 2 through 28, and tickets can be purchased at 250-385-6815 or online at tickets.belfry.bc.ca.

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