"French romantic drama translation shines"
by Sascha Cooper for remotegoat on 19/05/12

Lilies follows the story of Simon Doucet who embarks upon a dangerous love affair with another man. However, there is one person determined to spoil their fun...Bishop Bilodeau!

The clever use of the play within a play shows both men in their dotage as they go over the past via an all male cast in a prison performance. The danger with a same sex cast is that both sexes can be depicted in a somewhat stereotypical light. However in this instance, City Lights Theatre Company show a tender love story in the most sensitive light whist ensuring that female characters are not only given the realism needed, but the feminine charm that is required for strong roles depicted here.

Sadly what let this show down was not only a lack of conviction for some of the male characters, but a lack of diction so that some of the words were either lost or mumbled. Occasionally the energy dropped as well.

Despite this, what we saw was a sensitive subject matter (which was taboo back in 1912) come to life with some very strong acting from a few of the cast.

Special mentions have to go John Sears and Myles Horgan for their chemistry and passion as Simon and the bishop in their dotage. The amount of rivalry and hatred between the two men was outstanding.

But it was Simon Donovan as the young bishop (Jean Bilodeau) who took the limelight as he schemed to break up the couple as well as become caught up in his own jealousy to lead to his dastardly act at the end...This is a young man who has such a promising future ahead of him and is not to be missed.

All the men playing females were great, but it was Matt Ian Kelly who played Countess Marie-Laure De Tilly who was mesmerising and had such wit as she revealed herself to be more open minded than she let on. He was extremely entertaining and really showed a lot of depth to the character rather than keeping it completely one sided.

This is a show that will go places with a bit more tweaking to be made.

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