Rob Tymec and Michelle Mainwaring are Windsor theatre treasures. Along with multiple productions always on the go, their dedication to preserving history through the award-winning Rum Runners Tours is well documented and enjoyed by thousands every year.
This time out, Tymec and Mainwaring take a deep, dark turn to test the waters of intense drama in Moments of Clarity, currently playing at The Shadowbox Theatre. The play, written by Tymec and produced by Monkeys With A Typewriter Theatre, is about as penetrating as they come.
Moments of Clarity is the first installment in the new “Tales of Misery” series being presented by the monkeys. It’s a collection of tragic plays that are meant to simply inspire sadness and woe, which this one clearly excels at.
At the heart of the story is Mainwaring as Misty Hetherington, a woman of obvious affluence who also suffers from a genetically-inherited form of mental illness. As she takes us through her turmoil’s and escapades, the illness grows stronger and she loses control. Throughout the story, Misty is greeted by several different characters, all played by Tymec. The most interesting of the bunch is Misty’s dedicated and helpful butler, who’s unwavering affection grows fonder as the show continues on.
The poor usually insist the life of the rich is by far better than the life of the underprivileged, but as this play shows, money is really the root of all evil. Misty’s boyrfriend/husband Jake, takes advantage of her shattered state and runs off with her money, leaving Misty with several unanswered questions and just enough incoming cash to survive. Much like the title eludes to, Misty experiences moments of clarity at various times throughout the story, giving both herself and the audience a little more information every time.
There is no happy ending in Moments of Clarity, but if you look deep enough, there is a small shimmering night light of hope amongst the sadness and depravity. It’s a tough play to watch because Mainwaring gives Misty everything she can muster and there’s no way in hell you can escape her clutches – she grabs you from the start and uses everything she can to take you with her on a journey from childhood to adulthood. Considering this is her first deep dramatic role in more than a decade, it’s a side of Mainwaring we’re absolutely loving and hope to see more of.
Tymec is usually seen as the one telling the story, but in this production he’s a central character who twists and turns all the emotions and keeps the story moving. With little more than a jacket or hat change, Tymec easily transitioned from one character to another – from Jake and the butler to doctors and lawyers – and he did it with ease, sometimes just by turning his body. Had this been a comedy, his quick-change routine could have brought the house down, but for Moments of Clarity it’s just too dramatic for any hint of humour – he’s always the one in control, even when he’s the humble and dedicated servant.
Tears will be shed and emotions will be triggered, but Moments of Clarity is absolutely worth the risk. Tymec and Mainwaring are on to something here and it could very well be the emotional roller coaster that the Windsor theatre scene needs.
Moments of Clarity is the first play in the new Tales of Misery series which plans to abandon humour for unpleasant realities. This collection of tragic plays is meant to simply inspire sadness and woe. Moments of Clarity continues at the Shadowbox Theatre for two more shows on Friday and Saturday, November 8, & 9, 2019. For more information about tickets and showtimes visit https://www.facebook.com/Monkeys-With-A-Typewriter-Theatre-Company