Snow Goose

Seen on July 2, 2015 @ National Arts Festival, 2015

A little sailboat and the shadow of a bird ride on the thickening storm. The freezing shout of “Hold my hand” hints to the finale and theme of Snow Goose, a wonderful theater production about unlikely friendships and courage set in the years before World War II in a small village in England.

A young girl wanders  off beyond the marsh unto the lighthouse and meets and old hunchbacked man that is the talk of all kinds of stories in the village. But nobody really knows him. The two meat accidentally as the girl saw her father shoot a bird, hunting with his grumpy friend of old. She pities the bird and brings it in safety to the lighthouse. Old William rider identifies the snow goose and gives the bird a hand so the Canadian bird that has come from far away restores quietly as she is fed, gets picked by ugly ducks and learns to fly again, sailing away but never forgetting her new found home.

At home, Fran, however has to conceal what she has been up too as her widowed father does not like her to wonder in strange places and prefers a local boy asks her hand at the village dance ball. Fran gets affronted by the cowardice of the village boys who long after her had. She gets more and more attached to William Ryder, but runs from too close intimacy.

The nearness of wars becomes tangible over the radio announcements and the communications of the commander in chief. Boys line up to fight but get stuck on the beach of Duinkerke.

Fran and William argue about the need to give a hand (the ever present willingness to help those with disabilities) and the fact that we all need a friend. In an ultimate effort to give country men a helping hand William sails off in his boat and looses his life in the company of the faithful snow goose, that stranger that found a home.

Snow goose makes you laugh at its clever use of props, dialects, characters, masks and danceable music of the twenties en thirties that make it a delightful opener of the first day of the National Arts Festival. All roles are magnificently played by James Cairns and Taryn Bennett in this theater adaption of Paul Callico ‘s classic novella.

Directed by Jenine Collocot