Infinity is a play that has no light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, there is no end of the tunnel.
This play starts dark and it ends dark. It keeps its audience in an abyss of mental madness and calculated loss of control over love, marriage, children and the meaning of life.
Written by Hannah Moscovitch and directed by Ross Manson, this joyless monster of a play begs the question: what is time?
Time is precisely what theoretical physicist Elliot Green (Paul Braunstein) is losing in pursuit of his research on its existence. His life is passing him by, his child is growing up and his wife is begging for his affection – all while Elliot bangs away on his keyboard unfazed, desperate to finish his PhD and unable to stop long after it is complete.
When Elliot first meets Carmen (Amy Rutherford), she is recently single. He tells her she should be with someone who isn't dumb. Choosing him however, doesn't quite turn out to be the most intelligent decision she could have made for her life.
Eight years later, the pair struggles with their loveless marriage, Elliot's obsession with his work and their troubled young daughter Sarah Jean (Haley McGee).
All three actors are strong and contribute to the cataclysmic character dynamic on stage. However, I must say that as someone who has worked with children for quite a few years and who has two eight-year-old cousins, I'm not sure that I buy into the portrayal of eight-year-old Sarah Jean. Especially because she is thinker who lives in her head a lot. This might be attributed to all the tantrums, but she seemed far younger in my mind.
That being said, McGee has Sarah Jean's adult persona nailed to perfection. We see a lot of Elliot in her, from the calculated way that she talks to how she filters all of her bizarre thoughts through her head before speaking them aloud – a well-rounded, complex character.
The play as a whole is a beautiful inter-disciplinary piece. Andréa Tyniec on violin accentuates the cerebral discombobulation that is the characters minds, as they try to figure out their lives and try to solve the mystery of time.
The set design by Teresa Przybylski is a scrim with one end visible and the other stretching beyond our line of sight – literally depicting the never-ending notion of time.
The lighting design by Rebecca Picherack plays with the scrim, illuminating the violinist behind it at times and at other times accurately portraying the passion and madness of the characters with splashes of rich colour.
This play is as brilliant as it is haunting – a perfect combination of music, math and science that doesn't make your head hurt, but manages to makes your heart hurt.
Infinity is a co-production with Volcano Theatre and is playing in the Tarragon Extraspace until May 3. For more information visit http://tarragontheatre.com.
photo credit: Cylla von Tiedemann