A postcard review of Lunchbox Theatre’s Brave Girl

Lunchbox Theatre continues their season with Brave Girl, a new Remembrance Day musical, which takes its inspiration from the life of Sandra Perron, Canada’s first female infantry officer.

Show: Brave Girl

Playwright/composer: Emily Dallas

Theatre: Lunchbox Theatre (a co-production with Forté Musical Theatre Guild)

Length: One act (60 mins.)

Genre/s: Musical

Premise: The play is comprised of complicated relationships between sisters and their mother in the aftermath of grief, peppered with songs of pluck and lament.

Why this play? Why now?: As we gear up for November 11th, contemporary stories like this keep us mindful of the service of the Canadian military.

Curiosities: I wondered if the play hadn’t been told in backstory if the dramatic stakes would have been higher. I questioned the need for the protagonist to break the fourth to talk to “us” and I was intrigued by the hint of a subplot.

Notable line: “Why the hell didn’t you run?”

Notable writing: The playwright notes in the program, “It is because of their sacrifice that I can find the bravery to have my voice heard.”

Notable performance: Kudos go to seasoned actor Elinor Holt, who deftly switches from Mom, to captain, to fellow soldier, multiple times (compared to the single roles played by Jessica Eckstadt and Tara Jackson, both making their debuts at Lunchbox).

Notable design: Kathryn Smith adds suitable lights and SFX to the climax.

Notable direction: Valmai Goggin (who also directed Fritters in Kandahar) brings her same talent to this play – the action in Kandahar. She is supported in turn by Lunchbox fixture, musical director Joe Slabe.

One reason to see this show: Bring your Food Bank donation for the military and leave with a poppy and an appreciation for those who serve.

(Photo courtesy Benjamin Laird Arts & Photo.)

Brave Girl runs at Lunchbox Theatre until Nov. 10.

Caroline Russell-King is a playwright, dramaturg, and instructor. She is a member of The Playwrights Guild of Canada, the Dramatist Guild of America and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You can find her work here