We read the play in book form and while you can put down a book and/or not allow the written page to overwhelm you, we were not quite able to turn away from the characters on stage, or to stop the tearing.
EBTB is a story of Elaine, a Physics teacher, who is dealing with the aftermath of her father’s transient ischaemic attack. It is a countdown of her father’s last months, and you watch as Elaine come up with a plan to stop time, but physical therapy, routine, and another stroke take over, and before long, the end is near. There are three fictional bears who add comic relief (we especially love Chorus A), and a distraction in the form of a young doctor who may or may not be Elaine’s romantic interest. The play moves along quickly, which is an allegory for the time that Elaine does not have. It is powerful and heartfelt, and we (and our tissues) thoroughly enjoyed EBTB.
The set was strangely sparse for what one would imagine would be required, but the set designer’s use of the chairs, and light and sound, make for very adequate scenes. Another aspect that delights us is the program booklet. It is in the form of a patient’s case file, and while simple, it ties in very well with the play.
The play’s first run was in 2005, and the 2013 run is over already. Should they stage it again, and you haven’t already seen it, do try to catch it.