Born on St. Valentine’s Day, Norm Foster may have a soft spot for the romantic aspects of Feb. 14. Being Norm Foster, however, there’s no way he’s going to allow the comedic possibilities of love and relationships to go unspoken. Thus we have Wrong For Each Other, now playing at Theatre Three-Eleven in Listowel.
A chance meeting in a restaurant, after four years apart, sends an estranged couple flashing back through the highs and lows of their courtship and marriage. As the story unfolds, we learn increasingly more about Rudy Sorenson and Norah Case, the play’s only two characters: how they met, fell in love, got married and then divorced.
Like all Foster plays, there’s plenty of humour to be found. But it’s not played exclusively for laughs, noted Stefanie Webster, who plays Norah opposite her husband Justin Webster. The couple founded Theatre Three-Eleven in 2001.
“There are lots of moments for laughter in the play, but lots of drama too,” she explained, noting that Foster keeps things moving with this script.
“He doesn’t keep you in one place for too long. One moment you’re laughing, and the next you’re thinking about some aspect of your relationship.”
The subject matter of love found and love lost isn’t just about the laughs. As the couple goes walking down memory lane, the highs and lows of their relationship make great fodder, the kind recognized by most couples.
As they recall, recount, laugh, cry and argue about their woos and woes, their deep connection to each other resurfaces and makes them question why they separated, and what this means for their future, especially when both of their lives have moved on in very different directions.
In the hands of Foster, Canada’s most popular and prolific playwright, Rudy and Norah’s stories offer a sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking look at the rollercoaster ride of a relationship. Neither a farce nor anything too sappy – a relief for the guys in the audience, no doubt – Wrong For Each Other centers in on themes anyone who’s been in a relationship can relate to.
If there’s a take-away message, it’s that there is such a thing as true love, but you have to fight for it, to work at it. That made Wrong For Each Other a good choice for a production opening this weekend, said Webster.
“It’s a good play for Valentine’s – a nice, little feel-good love story.
“Norm Foster has written a wonderful character piece that will speak to some part of all of us: a perfect piece to warm the heart and soul in midwinter and perfect for Valentine’s season.”
A mix of the comical and the poignant is a hallmark of Foster’s plays, a trait that has made him Canada’s most produced playwright. His extensive catalogue of works includes The Affections of May, The Long Weekend and Office Hours – all familiar to fans of local theatrical productions.
Wrong For Each Other runs until Feb. 27, Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, available by phoning 519-291-2033 or 1-877-455-0552 or by emailing email@example.com. The theatre is located at 311 Main St. E., Listowel.