Rising Circle Theatre Collective presents a new play inspired by Amal Meguid's memoir, 'Not So Long Ago,' about a Muslim woman who fought for her independence in '60s Egypt. More…
In the sultry heat of 1960s Cairo, a clandestine love affair blooms between a married Egyptian woman and a Canadian professor ten years her junior. In a wintry Toronto house in the 1990s, an aging mother’s memories encroach on her recently divorced daughter’s attempts to restart her life. The past closes in, threatening to overwhelm the present. But what is real and what is illusion? 'This Time' is a lush new play about regret, romance, and familial responsibility.
"A skillfully constructed, beautifully acted play about one woman’s quest for liberation...Handled poorly, this time-jumping technique can lead to muddy storytelling, but Mr. Greene proves adept at the balancing act, showing a subtle touch that lets the audience fill in the details...The director, Kareem Fahmy, makes the transitions seamless, and Ms. Harrington manages the difficult trick of showing remnants of the fiery Amal incarnated by Ms. Heywood while also being convincingly frail." Full Review
“Performed with skill and dedication by an ensemble of five...Delphi Harrignton, as Amal, dominates the stage with a commanding presence that makes the audience want to believe her delusions of grandeur...The play’s sweep is staggering. The thematic material is rich...‘This Time’ is an impressive feat. Cheers to the company for an engaging piece of theater that tells a story about memory and what we choose to hold onto.” Full Review
"'This Time' is an extraordinary example of juggling multiple timelines with exacting deftness. The storylines weave in and through one another, much like a memory comes in and out of consciousness...Harrington is brilliant...The direction by Fahmy keeps the action moving smoothly between decades...The end of the play is abrupt...Greene’s storytelling is compelling and fresh, with engaging narratives." Full Review
"Ms. Heywood brings an air of effortless class and sophistication to the part…Similarly Ms. Harrington takes over the stage as if the world belonged to Amal. She gives a delicious diva performance...'This Time' announces the arrival of Greene as a wonderful writer of complex, sexually aware female characters. It will be interesting to see what he does next, without feeling like he needs to pay homage to writers and tropes he admires." Full Review
"It is also exciting to see an off Broadway play that not only champions stories by and featuring artists of color, but also a play that centers on strong female characters...Though the themes of the play get a bit muddled, Greene and Fahmy are most successful in crafting a sad, nostalgic love letter to youthful, whirlwind romances...While the entire cast shines with the material they are given, the design of 'This Time' is the star in this production." Full Review
"As '90s Amal, Delphi Harrington skillfully conveys a mixture of defiance and vulnerability. As younger Amal and Nick, Heywood and Moore artfully capture the emotional journey involved as their relationship evolves from simmering attraction and apparent liberation to increasing disillusionment. Salma Shaw’s Janine is an involving blend of resolve, frustration, and longing...'This Time' may not provide easy answers, but it offers a compelling meditation on family, love, and identity." Full Review
"The trouble with 'This Time' though is the content...And that may simply be due to how Greene structures the play. You have to wonder is this the best way to share this story...The other trouble with this current format is that it lacks dramatic tension...When it came to working with his company, Fahmy fell short. While the scenes smartly melted from scene to scene, the overall pacing was immeasurably slow...It’s a text to keep an eye on in the future. But for now, it didn’t hit the mark." Full Review
See it if you understand that love although may not be everlasting, brings happiness which is as important as freedom, liberty, equality.
Don't see it if if you assess the feminine conduct from the male dominant perspective.
See it if you crave a strong female protagonist; are a mother or a daughter, welcome stories with a worldly, sophisticated charm; understand regret.
Don't see it if you're not in the mood for a family drama or would like something with bells and whistles. This is a quiet yet satisfying peek into a life.
See it if Your hunger for underrepresented voices in the theater is greater than your hunger for well-told stories.
Don't see it if You dislike living-room dramas or find plays that juggle multiple time-frames confusing.
See it if You like relationship dramas, stories with a cultural subtext, good production design, thoughtful staging, family issues, memory themes.
Don't see it if You want something fast-paced, don't like watching family arguments, want a lot of action.
See it if You like good talent, a great story and discovering things about a different culture. I really enjoyed this play and I recommend it highly.
Don't see it if You don't like plays about relationships between mothers and daughters.
See it if Costumes on point. Dual portrayal of Amal is worth watching. You like cheesy family dramas and soap opera romances. Practice your French?
Don't see it if you like reading. After Act 1 I predicted it was a book adaptation. It's a weak one. Projections as set. You're tired of dementia plays.
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