Ticketmaster Summer in Stages

Patience

Jason Sherman
Finborough
(2005)

Patience publicity image

Does life imitate science? In award-winning Canadian playwright Jason Sherman's Patience, the protagonist, Rube, plays out Chaos Theory with his own life.

It all starts either with an illicit kiss or, alternatively, the prescient meeting that he has with a friend, whom he subsequently discovers had died the previous year. The latter is a proto-scriptwriter who talks of a project about a man who, Job-like, has it all and then sinks to rock bottom.

Lo and behold, Rube is kicked out by his wife, ousted from his job over a petty embezzlement masking lack of business acumen and then sees his brother die prematurely.

Things must get better but only after the hang-dog, Jewish anti-hero suffers bitterness and demonstrates an unwillingness to grasp happiness with either his old flame or his brother's teenage girlfriend. He doesn't learn, as twice, ten years apart, he is caught publicly grasping a girl to the obvious and very natural resentment of his current amour.

In Vicki Fifield's clever but very simple blue set, this overly long Canadian drama veers between fantastic moments, including a hilarious scene with Russell Bentley's savvy, wisecracking Rabbi, to repetitive gloom as Geoffrey Towers' Rube visits and revisits his failures.

There are many nice touches and funny moments, courtesy of the playwright and young director Adam Barnard.

With some cuts, this could be a far sharper view of a self-destructive but not very likeable man who perhaps deliberately creates his own, self-fulfilling Chaos Theory from his life.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher