With a streamlined runtime of only 70 minutes, The Station’s current production of Mary’s Wedding (written by Stephen Massicotte) makes impressive mileage. The nonlinear narrative spans over two years, alternating between rural Canada and the battlefields of France, to tell the story of a romance displaced by The Great War. The war-crossed lovers are Mary Chambers (played by Cheyenne Drew), a London socialite transplanted across the Atlantic, who falls for simple country boy Charlie Edwards (played by Evan Seggebruch).
The show takes no prisoners in terms of its pacing, transitioning like lightning (at times, literally) from halcyon episodes of the lovers on horseback to hellfire raining on Charlie in the trenches. For a story that blurs the lines between memory and fantasy, the production does an excellent job of maintaining clarity of plot. Along with the nimble pacing, brilliant use of a minimalistic set and strategic sound effects aid in the story’s seamlessness.
Though performed by only a duo, there are technically three characters who appear onstage — Cheyenne doubles as Charlie’s commanding officer, Sergeant Flowerdew. The duality of the characters parallels two forms of comfort Charlie seeks to escape the horrors of war — the fatherly advice of his commander and his fantasies/memories of Mary. The two become intertwined in Charlie’s psyche and thus it is certainly no coincidence that the Sergeant’s nickname is “Flowers” and that Mary wears the flowers of a bride in her hair.
The slight inconsistencies in the accents put on by the actors, in particular regards to Cheyenne, were the only drawbacks to the performance. At first, I misplaced what was meant to be an English accent for American-Southern, but as the production went on this effect lessened. That being said, the chemistry between the the actors immediately registered and intensified throughout. Their love was one I not only believed in, but that I rooted for.
Mary’s Wedding will pull at the heartstrings, but with more nuance than most romances. It’s a dreamy story of love and loss that is certainly worth the hour you’ll spend falling into it.
Mary’s Wedding will run until July 18th. For reservation details, please visit The Station’s official website.
Photo by Tom Schnarre.