Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

July 16, 2015

Halcyon Days

Chester Theatre Company, Chester, MA
through July 19, 2015
By Mary Fernandez-Sierra

The conservatory of a nursing home becomes the landscape for an ethereal and superbly acted drama by Deirdre Kinahan. Halcyon Days tells the story of Patricia and Sean, two fiery and fascinating souls whose paths cross in the twilight of their years. It is a story of unraveling, and re-raveling; life and laughter; and most of all, the power of friendship.

It is hard to imagine anyone other than Jill Tanner playing the role of Patricia, or Anderson Matthews portraying Sean. These two actors own their characters, breathing life and love into every moment. Ms. Tanner gives us a strong and statuesque Patricia, who is also incredibly fragile… while Mr. Matthews is wistful and weary as Sean, yet lively and quick-witted when the occasion demands.

Director James Warwick has kept a tight pace throughout the play, making the performance seem to pass in a twinkling. The stage space is utilized brilliantly; every area seems perfect for the parts of the story that unfold there.

Much credit must be given to the scenic design of Matthew Iacozza, and lighting design by Lara Dubin, for the success of this show as well. The interaction between the subtle colors of the stucco walls, those gorgeous greenhouse windows and the transitions and effects of the lights are as much a joy to watch as the performances. Truly, together, they make a masterpiece.

Kudos to Stage Manager Allyson Namishia and her intrepid backstage crew for quick and effective scene changes, and to Sound Designer Tom Shread for music choices that enhanced the audience’s enjoyment and understanding of a truly lovely piece of theatre.

Halcyon Days will not last! Head to the Chester Theatre Company while you still can to see it in all its glory.