"Visually and vocally stunning"
Written and directed by Conor McPherson and with music and lyrics by Bob Dylan, Girl From the North Country tells the story of various members of a community in 1930’s America, amidst the grip of the Great Depression.
The show opens with a musical performance in the style of a band with Joe Scott (Joshua C. Jackson) taking the lead vocal. I will talk more about the vocal performances, however this was an extremely strong start of what was to come. We meet Dr Walker (Chris McHallem) who breaks the fourth wall and speaks to the audience, becoming the narrator. Dr Walker is also the Doctor of the Laine family. Nick Laine (Colin Connor) is the owner of a guesthouse on the brink of financial ruin. His wife, Elizabeth (Frances McNamee) suffers from a mental illness and is very distant from the rest of her family offering a childlike state with no filter towards other. They have a son, Gene (Gregor Milne) and an adopted daughter Marianne (Justina Kehinde) who is pregnant, however the identity of the father is unknown.
Other residents of the guest house include widower Mrs Neilsen (Maria Omakinwa) who is in a relationship with Nick Laine. There is also the Burke family, Mr Burke (James Staddon), Mrs Burke (Rebecca Thornhill) and their son Elias (Ross Carswell) who has a learning disability and the whole family are struggling to come to terms with their recent downturn in luck after Mr Burke lost his business.
We also meet a bible salesman Reverend Marlowe (Eli James) and boxer Joshua C. Jackson (Joe Scott) as they arrive at the guesthouse during a storm. It is these characters that change the dynamic in the house throughout their time there.