Edmonds theater group presents Titanic mystery

  • By Lynnie Ford / Special to The Herald
  • Thursday, June 3, 2004 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

EDMONDS – The year is 1992. A Norwegian fishing boat discovers a young woman dressed in new 1920s attire, stranded on an iceberg somewhere in the North Atlantic. When rescued, all she can say is (dramatic drum roll here), “Titanic.” Thus the intrigue begins at the Edge of the World Theatre’s production of “Scotland Road,” a mystery by Jeffrey Hatcher.

Scotland Road was the name given to the passageway that ran the length of the Titanic, allowing crew members to pass from first class to steerage.

The show features four characters in a stark medicinal setting, none of whom are what they appear to be. After being picked up, Winnifred (Melissa Timms) is scurried off first to a hospital in Iceland, and then to a private clinic – actually a renovated gas station – in Maine. There, a rich young man, John (Jack Hamblin), who is the great-grandson of John Astor, who died on the Titanic, is paying for the privilege of grilling the young lady to reveal her true identity.

He’s hired the perpetually unsmiling Dr. Halbrech (Christina Buchen), who really isn’t a doctor, to supervise Winnifred’s health and well-being. John has also learned that the last known Titanic survivor, Miss Kittle (Melanie Calderwood), who perhaps isn’t really a “Miss,” lives near the Maine “clinic.” When Winnifred and Miss Kittle meet and the name Astor is mentioned, Winnifred breaks her silence and her story unfolds – I think.

Which is either the problem with the script or perhaps simply the playwright’s purpose to confuse the audience, or just me. As directed by Michael Kelley, the acting is outstanding, and “Twilight Zone” and “X-File” fans will love the complex plot.

However, when the truth is finally revealed in the last 15 minutes of the play, some of us, including the group I was with, knew playwright Hatcher was going somewhere with this story but where that was was still a bit fuzzy. In Hatcher’s words, “It’s not about the Titanic … it’s about the ice.” What?

In the first act, the well-preserved Winnifred refuses to talk, though her watching eyes reflect a deeper knowledge she’s determined to withhold. Unfortunately, at times her silence wears thin. Add the constant fading in and fading out of scenes, with little change in the two-chair, one table set, you almost feel like you’ve been tossed on a choppy voyage through the North Atlantic.

In the second act Miss Kittle makes a brief yet welcome appearance as the crotchety Titanic survivor. Wheeling herself into the small room, she and Winnifred face off and truths are revealed, adding another twist to the already snarled plot.

The problem with the show is definitely not the acting – the actors give it their all. And perhaps my mind just doesn’t wander the same paths as Hatcher’s.

In any event, the show is both challenging and thought provoking.

Review

“Scotland Road”: Edge of the World Theatre production at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, through June 26 at 9672 Firdale Ave., Edmonds; tickets $17-$20; 206-542-7529.

Review

“Scotland Road”: Edge of the World Theatre production at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, through June 26 at 9672 Firdale Ave., Edmonds; $17-$20; 206-542-7529.

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