FRINGE 2015 — A Worthy Examination of the True Casualties of War

By Jay Menard,

In life, we fight many battles. Some are physical, others are mental. In Lest We Regret we are presented with a story of casualties of war.

But these casualties extend well beyond the field of battle and into the two characters’ minds, bodies, and souls.

Lest We Regret is a simply executed production featuring Tim Bourgard (playing the father) and Charlene McNabb. Bernie Gilmore ably performs some period-specific musical interludes on the guitar.

For the majority of the play, the two leads speak in parallel soliloquies, deftly switching from one to another through shared snippets of dialogue. But while the words may be the same, the meaning and context are vastly different.

The undercurrent of a family steeped in military history and fervour is punctuated by Bourgard’s father — a man who holds an idealized vision of war and what it means to be a man. A vision that’s only clouded by his eventual experience and the ghosts with which it leaves him. McNabb’s daughter is fighting a vision that doesn’t exist — the scourge of being born a woman to a man who sees young men going to war as the epitome of worth.

It is largely the story of the folly of pride — both characters continue down paths propelled by their own misguided impressions. And an eventual reconciliation (facilitated by the man who ‘saves’ both — a non-represented ‘Uncle Gary’) only serves as the calm before a storm that will shake them to their very cores.

The performances are nuanced, but powerful, with only the actors’ stories propelling the plot forward. But that’s more than enough as we are drawn into their lives merely through the force of Bourgard and McNabb’s talent.

Lest We Regret is a heart-wrenching story of collateral damage. In the end, we learn that many casualties of war occur right here at home.

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