Theatre Review: The good kind of Anomaly

By Rebecca Pfliger

Everyone has worked that terrible job. You know, the one you dread going to, the monotonous grind of the workplace where the clock is watched religiously for the impending lunch break. Specifically, the shredding of paper for the entire work day. It’s what happens to Steve Davidson (David Trimble) and Dave Stevenson (C. Adam Leigh), who go through the motions of shredding paper after paper in Lunch Box Theatre’s latest show, Anomaly.

Dave and Steve are best friends. They work together, married each other’s sisters and both happen to be fanatics for the TV show Anomaly. The co-workers wistfully dream of excitement. So bored of shredding piece after piece of white paper, they welcome calls from telemarketers, enjoy pulling out staples and treat the arrival of coloured paper like Christmas. But things starts to get a bit more crazy when the new secretary arrives. Mona Black (Jennie Esdale) is sexy, commanding and mysterious–everything work never was. Suddenly Dave and Steve get more excitement than they hoped for.

Written by Neil Fleming as part of the Petro-Canada Stage One new play development program last year, Anomaly was inspired by Fleming’s own tedious job. Luckily, that tediousness doesn’t seep into his writing as the play is an unpredictable delight. Both the lighting and set design by Colin Ross and Brian Chmielweski provide the actors a wonderful foundation for this delightful comedy to play out.

Let’s not forget the performances, though, as C. Adam Leigh and David Trimble compliment each other well. Their portrayals of Dave Stevenson and Steve Davidson are heartwarming, both characters are so dynamic and quirky it’s hard not to love them. Jennie Esdale also shines, bringing Mona Black to life. These characters could be easily played over the top, but the stellar cast knows restraint.

A perfect respite from the daily work grind, Anomaly doesn’t disappoint. After the curtains fall, you’ll wish you never have to go back to a cubicle again.


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