Flowers for Algernon

Daniel Keyes
AHSTF presents Leysin American School
theSpace @ Venue45

Flowers for Algernon

Daniel Keyes's classic sci-fi tale Flowers For Algernon is something of an open goal when handed to a Fringe company.

The story of Charlie Gordon, a mentally handicapped baker’s assistant who is put under experimental brain surgery to boost his intelligence, has enough of an emotional arc to it that, even in the condensed form, it still carries weight and heft.

The problem is that it’s also a story of subtlety and expression rather than a plainly told tale. It’s unfortunate then that this production is somewhat flat, and only really does the bare bones of telling the story.

It’s hard to ask and possibly unfair to expect that full weight to be expressed by high school students, but there is a fist made of it at least, and the play does achieve some moments of honest emotion.

It’s just that much of the rest of it feels like the cast are simply reciting dialogue rather than acting parts. Which in a milling throng of potential show options like the Fringe just doesn’t cut it.

Reviewer: Graeme Strachan