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Lily & Lorne

Review by Carol Little

The romantic musical comedy Lily & Lorne is featured in New Glasgow at the River Theatre, located at the PEI Preserve Company. This original play was written by Kyle MacDougall and is performed by Holly Green and Kyle MacDougall.

Entering the River Theatre, one expects an amateur evening in the rustic, unfinished barn with bare wooden rafters and plastic patio style seating, focused on a small, curtain-less, stationary stage. Within moments of the actors taking the stage though, the rough, simple atmosphere was forgotten and the audience became smitten with the convincing characters and lost in their charismatic story.

Lily (Green) and Lorne (MacDougall) are a passionate young married couple facing the common frustrations of clashing individual interests that can plague or challenge relationships. While Lily dreams of becoming a famous actress on the Broadway stage in New York City, Lorne is obsessively nitpicking over the gall of a competitive grocer who has allowed the import and sale of Idaho potatoes in Prince Edward Island.

“Luminous Lorne” is overpowered by the scandalous, treasonous potatoes in his midst and becomes consumed with the obsessive desire to taste one of these illustrious potatoes in order to see how it connivingly infiltrated his peaceful community. Ashamed and embarrassed by his fraudulent, immoral desire, he gets tangled in his own self-inflicted seedy, less than stealth mission to obtain and test one of the Idaho potatoes without being found out by the locals.

Lily meanwhile, begins reciting poetry and reading plays behind Lorne’s back while attempting to secure an audition with a visiting talent scout from New York. While likeable, Lorne is a needy and insecure husband who is quickly threatened by Lily’s ambition to become an actress. Easily distracted from his wife’s needs by his grand ideas of an American invasion initiated with the potato industry, Lorne fails to see Lily’s genuine desire and need to give her dream a chance.

The raw setting worked to their advantage as the actors made wonderful use of the simple stage, employing physical humour, monologues, singing, and dance, to give the stage the intimate feel of a newlywed couple’s cozy bachelor style apartment.

Green and MacDougall delighted audience members with their energetic, comedic characterization and cleverly interspersed scene breaks with toe-tapping piping and highland music that kept the spectators interested. Lily and Lorne are convincing, willful characters that easily bring to life a charming story that is sure to make you laugh.

Don’t miss the endearing portrayal of marital life in this uniquely hilarious Island love story!

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