by Emma Lee
Two siblings try to kill their grandmother. That is the summation of the hour of this play. Intriguing. Maybe? Not really. ‘Ways To Kill Ethyl’ has some snappy dialogue, a good tag line, a moment or two of giggles, and a lovely running joke about meatballs. However it suffers from complete lack of attention to detail. A folding table, a plastic table cloth, paper plates, real cutlery and office chairs does not a dining room set make – though in a later scene wooden dining room chairs were used to establish an office. This may seem nit-picky but the sloppiness of the set slopped over into most elements of the production. From lighting which made it impossible to see people's eyes to staging which made it impossible to see people’s anything – Ways To Kill Ethyl could have been cleaned up into something crisp, clean, and fun but instead relied too heavily on the fact that trying to kill your grandmother was a plot that would entice people to buy tickets. Not to mention the fact that several plot points don’t make sense, at all, so not only does the story become increasingly convoluted it is also contradictory and undermining of characters' previously established intelligence. Many other flaws could be picked in the 60 minutes: flat acting, awkward transitions, confusion about whether the play takes place in Canada or the States, but at a certain point you have to just sit back, relax, laugh at meatball humor and ignore your growing hunger pains.