Successions illustrates the issues that ensue in the life of family members at the point where the kids need to get together to settle the affairs of their parents’ home after they both passed away. Although the process seems relatively straightforward, certain times family members tend to have their own opinion regarding what will happen with the house as well as the will, particularly regarding the division of the goods in a fair manner. Most of the time, these posthumous legal matters tend to be settled decently and reasonably. However, in some instances, it can precipitate nasty arguments between the heirs and destroy families in an unsalvageable way.
The play revolves around two Italian rooted siblings living in Montreal. One of the brothers, Anthony, is a top-ranking attorney and Enzo, the other brother, is a cheerful individual but ultimately completely lacking in merit. The siblings assemble with their significant others in the jumbled cellar of their parents’ home in St. Leonard to settle the legal issues. Anthony needs Enzo to sign the documentation that is necessary for the bungalow styled house to be sold. In any case, Enzo feels an extreme sense of nostalgia by being in their childhood home and would like to keep it. This inevitably leads to some funny, but often serious discussions.
Let me start this off by simply stating one thing: The acting was phenomenal. Indeed, I thoroughly enjoyed the dedication that each and everyone one of the actors had for their respective parts. Often, I completely forgot that I was spectating a play and that it was entirely fiction: I got sucked into the story. Having watched multiple different performances of this sort, it wasn’t uncommon to see some characters lack a certain “oomph factor”. In this instance, that was not the case. Particularly, I enjoyed that all the characters had relatively important roles in the continuation of the story. The rigorous acting made for interesting character developments as well as a lot of good laughs.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The set-up was phenomenal. With being a relatively new show, you would assume that there would be a few issues with the props, lighting and everything else making up the scene, right? Wrong! Personally, I really enjoyed the synergy of all the different components. The lights always appeared to be in sync with the action, the characters and the ton desired by the director. This would lead to some spectacular and but sometimes lugubrious effects. Furthermore, the costumes, even if they were somewhat simple in nature, worked perfectly to accurately highlight the differences that make up a contemporary family.
In retrospect, Successions was, in my humble opinion, a home run in terms of having an interesting story wrapped around the complicated lives of extraordinary individuals. On top of that, the acting was A1, and the way that the stage was set up was just as scrumptious. I personally feel that all of these essential aspects marinated well together to form what our French friends would call a “chef-d’œuvre”. Do you like quirky yet intelligent pieces of pure pleasure? Do you like having your eyes constantly locked on the greatness that is the development of a masterpiece? If you answer “no” to any of these questions, I question your mental state. All jokes aside, I highly recommend Successions to anyone to wants to have an enjoyable time. Be warned however, some parts can be highly tumultuous so get ready for an unexpected roller-coaster ride. Also, attempt to keep an open mind when watching the show, certain parts can be sort of “naughty” but are essential for in-depth character development. To accurately rate this play, I would have to score it six out of five stars. But, since that isn’t entirely possible, I’ll content myself with giving it impressive and well-deserved five stars.