Things I Know to be True
Written by: Andrew Bovell
Directed by: Shane Bosher
Circa Theatre, 30th Apr 2021
Reviewed by: Alessia Belsito-Riera
Things I Know to be True is a poignant story of family, of loss, and of love. The play follows the Price family through the ups and downs of life over the course of a year, broaching problems and situations universally known to every family, to every human. The Price children (played by Heather O’Carroll, Jthan Morgan, Daniel Watterson, and Caitlin Rivers) have grown up and started their own lives, often fiercely independent from their parents, but seem to find themselves more often than not circling back to their childhood home, for advice, help, approval, rebellion, truth, and the comfort that only family can provide.
Things I Know to be True is exquisitely crafted. Each one of the actors portrays genuine, deep, relatable, and very real characters. Lara Macgregor delivers a phenomenal performance as Fran Price, flitting between anger, joy, pride, longing, fear, and devastation as she desperately tries to make the world right for her children. As her counterpart Bob Price, Stephen Lovatt delivers a much more subtle character, enacting a stoic yet utterly tender performance of a devout father and husband.
As the backdrop for the lives of the Price family, set designer Andrew Foster creates the garden world in which the story unfolds. Four rosebushes mark the passing of time and the seasons, changing in size, shape, and foliage throughout the play as we transition between summer and fall, or from one character’s story to the next. Leaves fall from the ceiling as well as real rainwater, making the play alive and dynamic.
Though heart-wrenching, Things I Know to be True is also heart-warming. Life is not perfect for the Price family but it is real. In their lives we see our own, raw and difficult, delicate and utterly beautiful. Through their story we find comfort in knowing that though all of us share heartbreak, we also share resilience and compassion in overcoming it; and this I know to be true.