Submitted to The Record
Helena and George Butler have finally succeeded in moving their three sons out into the world.
They are alone together at last. The boomerang years are over.
Well, not quite. In Courtenay Little Theatre’s upcoming production of Alone Together Again by Lawrence Roman, the unexpected arrival of Helena’s father, complete with suitcase, heralds another family invasion. Only this time, it’s not the younger generation who’s coming home, it’s the older one. Pop has decided that as he is approaching 80, it is time for a trial separation. He wants to start life over and pursue his interests in space travel. Where can he move to? To his daughter’s house of course.
While Pop has decided that living totally alone doesn’t appeal, his wife, Ruth, may just be able to manage it. But she stays very aware of what Pop needs and when he needs it. So her repeated visits to Helena’s house add to the parental pressure.
With one resident parent, and one hovering, Helena and George are finding it difficult to cope.
Then, just when things may be settling down, in walks Grace, George’s widowed mother. Grace reports that her house needs to be fumigated. Where will she go? To her son’s house of course.
The Butlers are caught in an increasingly common situation, one faced by many of today’s mid-life generation. They are sandwiched. Aware of their own ageing, they must nevertheless respond to the needs of both parents and children. They are the fulcrum of a loving and supportive family, but now they have to find a balance.
The comedy within this play is balanced by another reality. Dynamics change. Helena and her father discuss situations that have been long avoided. She and her husband examine behaviours that have been accepted for years. And Grandmother Grace has more on her plate than she admits.
Alone Together Again brings humour to the realities of family relationships. Each character is brought into the recognition of a new stage of life.
“They are each facing the reality that things are going to be different. But sometimes difference is a good thing,” said director Sharon Pridham.
Alone Together Again shows at the Sid William Theatre on September 30, Oct.1, 5, 6, 7 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on Sunday Oct. 2 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $22, matinee $20, and can be purchased at the Sid William Theatre box office, 250-338-2430, or at sidwilliamstheatre.com.
The CLT Season’s Pass, one ticket for each of the season’s three plays, is available at only $45. The CLT Flexpass is also available, where six tickets for $110 can be used in any combination for any production.