Some Thoughts on “Courageous”

Written on February 8th, 2010


I had a chance to see Courageous yesterday—just closing at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. It’s a new play by Michael Healey (The Drawer Boy). It’s interesting – Act I and Act II have completely different main characters. In Act I, we see a very young couple getting married at city hall – fighting, swearing at each other, yelling about each other’s infidelities – obviously not ready for marriage. But they do it! Then a gay couple comes in, and the civil servant refuses to marry them because he’s a very devout Roman Catholic. Now – here’s where I had a problem with believability – the civil servant is also gay and in a relationship. Even though the character tried to explain that dichotomy, I’m not sure I believe it. Just didn’t fit. Then we move to the Act II – which centres on the young couple who got married at the beginning of Act I. The play shifts to having a narrator – the young man addresses the audience directly throughout Act II. (There was no narration in Act I.) It’s a play of interesting contrasts – there is lots of food for thought, and there are many good laughs.

I enjoyed Act II more than Act I – Act 1 depended a lot on two men sitting and arguing their points of view prior to a human rights hearing. It seemed a little slow. But the action definitely picked up in Act II.

Overall, a good message about “fairness”.

I liked the quotes appearing on the wall above the set…

Any young males looking for monologues for auditions should be able to find something in Act II of Courageous.

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