Charlie Evans, a pool shark down on his luck in the bedroom as well as in the pool hall, has two days to pay off a $3,000 debt, or have his legs broken by Bulldog, a psychotic debt collector who also happens to be having an affair with Charlie’s wife, Helen. In his desperation to recover both the money and his self-esteem, Charlie gets involved in a series of hustles, pushing the tension to a breathtaking climax.
The complicated narrative of the play allows French to build a convincing case for Charlie’s humanity?how his actions, devious, frantic and perplexed as they are, spring directly from his need to survive his pathetic circumstance and to maintain his dignity as a survivor. Tired, suspicious, despairing, knowing that the game is no good for him and yet knowing no other game, Charlie plunges into a situation which may mean disaster or salvation, because in Charlie’s world of cliché and stereotype, everything comes down to betting on the right thing at the right time.
Cast of two women and eight men.
About the author
Born in Coley’s Point, Newfoundland, David French was one of Canada’s best-known and most critically acclaimed playwrights. His work received many major awards, and French was one of the first inductees into the Newfoundland Arts Hall of Honour.
Among his best-loved works are the semi-autobiographical Mercer plays: Salt-Water Moon, 1949, Leaving Home, recently named one of Canada’s 100 Most Influential Books (Literary Review of Canada) and one of the 1,000 Most Essential Plays in the English Language (Oxford Dictionary of Theatre), Of the Fields, Lately and Soldier’s Heart. The Mercer plays have received hundreds of productions across North America, including a Broadway production of Of the Fields, Lately. This quintet of plays about a Newfoundland family has also touched audiences in Europe, South America and Australia. In addition, French produced skillful adaptations of Alexander Ostrovsky’s The Forest, Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull and August Strindberg’s Miss Julie.
?A definite winner that will be around for a long time.?
? Ottawa Citizen