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Basil Dawkins' My God Don't Wear Pajamas
My God Don’t Wear Pajamas. The moment I heard the name of Basil Dawkin’s latest play, I was intrigued. It was an interesting turn of phrase that I hoped would lead to an inventive and original drama. Alas, while My God Don’t Wear Pajamas is a solid production, it never lived up to my expectations, because the title is its most inventive feature.
My God Don’t Wear Pajamas, directed by Douglas Prout, surrounds the intersecting stories of a recent widow Sharon, and her (almost) stepson, Denver - the outside child of her late husband. Sharon is in the midst of her grief for her late husband, Albert, when she realizes that the life of riches that should th
en accrue to herself and her son (Bradley), is instead to be in part entrusted to Denver, the son he met late in life. Rather than submit to the whims of the dead man, Sharon instead plots to find a way to have access to all of the money. Denver’s faith in God makes him reasonably malleable in Sharon’s hands, as well as those of his emotionally and physically abusive wife, Molly.
The play has a strong cast and so benefits from good performances. The set is fair and costuming is good. It also benefits from a fair serving of humour, even though the dialogue occasionally gets a little preachy. Alas, despite all of these, a problematic plot raises its inchoate head, making it a little unclear what My God Don’t Wear Pajamas is about. The themes of faith, love, and prejudice are evident, but clear plot lines are somewhat indiscernible.
Hilary Nicholson delivers a fairly strong performance as Sharon (alternating with Ruth HoShing). Sharon is an interesting character, a woman who blindly defends her son, regardless of how treacherous he is, even to herself.
Nicholson, works will with Jean Paul Menou, who plays her son Bradley, a man-child whom you immediately recognize did not get enough beatings while growing up, and for whom you would like to remedy that situation. He is selfish, manipulative and, oh yeah racist.
Donald Anderson is a strong actor, who works well in both drama and comedy. Alas, his performance as Denver in My God Don’t Wear Pajamas should barely make it to the footnote of his biography. The main reason is that the character is problematic, and only appears to be a lead role, because he has no other choice. While Denver is a man of faith, it is not in a way that is inspiring, and until close to the end of the play, one feels no desire to root for him.
Zandriann May’s character, Molly - Denver’s wife, is largely tasked with bringing much of the humour to the production, which results in an inordinate amount of unexplained rump shaking, and just as much over-acting.
The result, is that at the end of the day, the play is a little too much like pajamas. Not sexy silky ones, or shortie ones, or any of those fun ones, but solid daddy pajamas. It’s okay and just comfortable enough, but it’s nothing to get excited about.
My God Don't Wear Pajamas is currently playing at the Little Little Theatre, Tom Redcam Avenue.