Dmitry Chepovetsky, Curtis Tweedie, Genevieve Fleming, Rachel Cairns

Bright Blue Future, a play set in Victoria, BC during 2008’s economic downturn, begins at a nightclub with four twenty-somethings partying and posing. Gay character Carston (Dmitry Chepovetsky) name drops with his knowledge of the Montreal party scene. Arianna (Genevieve Fleming), the pretty girl in a closeted lesbian relationship, is posing for selfies.

Arianna’s girlfriend Alexandra (Rachel Cairns) is trying to get a drink at the bar without resorting to flirtation while Josh (Curtis Tweedie), the youngest and naivest of them all, is dancing and enjoying his high. As the scene moves to the home of Arianna and Alexandra, it’s clear that this is a typical drug-fueled evening with alcohol chasers.

Rachel Cairns, Genevieve Fleming
[Rachel Cairns, Genevieve Fleming]

For these Millennials (born in the 1980’s, reaching adulthood with the changing of the century), drugs and alcohol form their entertainment, release and escapism all at once.

These middle class kids have been brought up in the consumer goods-oriented luxury of the developed world. Now they have to figure out how to succeed in a society that’s told them they can do and be anything they want, the catch being with little to nothing to strive for.

The characters are left adrift in a society with neither positive appreciation for their future nor that of the entire world. Their education is one of repetition — screw up again and again until a better choice must be made.

Dmitry Chepovetsky, Rachel Cairns
[Dmitry Chepovetsky, Rachel Cairns]

The play unfolds with the party night turning into the next day, then the future, with the characters realizing that they can’t remain in a drug-induced haze forever. The entire cast are superb, especially in their portrayal of intoxication. The dialogue is natural, full of swearing that appears authentic, matching time and situation.

It can be awkward to watch intimacy on stage but these actors pull it off, from PDA to one character’s unconsciousness. Humour is interjected throughout, helping to increase the connection with the audience. The flow of the story is enhanced by the quality production of sound, lighting and staging (courtesy of Sound Designer Matthew MacDonald-Bain, Set and Props Designer Jenn Stewart and Stage Manager Sarah Mabberley).

Rachel Cairns, Genevieve Fleming, Dmitry Chepovetsky
[Rachel Cairns, Genevieve Fleming, Dmitry Chepovetsky]

Bright Blue Future brings insight into the lives of Millennials with their YOLO (You Only Live Once) attitude. The name of the play is an intriguing word play that accompanies the destiny of the characters. What does the future hold for the Millennials? Will they get off the merry go round of drug-numbing existence to really live?

Playwright Sean Harris Oliver has brought us a compelling glimpse into their world; one can only hope that they grow up and discover a place that makes sense to them.

Directed by Shawn Macdonald, Hardline Productions’ Bright Blue Future continues at the Pacific Theatre through March 5.

Photos by Mark Halliday.

About Our Contributor MJ Ankenman

MJ Ankenman

MJ moved to Vancouver in 2005 and has been keeping busy ever since, enjoying all that the West coast has to offer, sharing discoveries through her writing and photography. MJ’s interests include yoga, biking, hiking, and enjoying BC wine. Follow MJ on Twitter @urbanista.

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