Blyth Festival, 2003

The Citizen – July 30, 2003
Bonnie Gropp (Citizen Editor)

You never know what to expect when writer/director Paul Thompson’s name is attached to a production. What you usually find in his collective experiences are a patchwork of ideas…Such is the case with Hippie, which premiered at the Blyth Festival on Thursday night. In this production, director Thompson strays slightly from the typical collective concept, working with dramaturge Jonathan Garfinkel and actor/writer Kelly McIntosh. While ideas were generated through the typical collective process, discussions with local residents, the writers fleshed out the material amongst the dialogue.

Tara Hughes is mesmerizing as Alice, using small gestures to convey deep emotions. A slight body move, or change in facial expression and you knew what she was feeling.

This works well on one level. There is more than a glimpse of a storyline woven throughout scenes and some character are more developed than would otherwise occur in a collective. However, there is still the sense that you are watching a work n progress. This is what we’ve got so far and how do you like it?

Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good. If you can open your mind, relax, and let the parts you don’t like flow past, there is plenty to enjoy in Hippie.