I received this book from Playwrights Canada Press for review. This does not impact the content of my review.
Book: Late Company
Author: Jordan Tannahill
Published: September 1, 2015 (original) / September 28, 2017 (this edition)
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press (original) / Faber & Faber (this edition)
Genre: Contemporary Play
Source: Playwrights Canada Press
One year after the suicide of their son, Debora and Michael Shaun-Hastings sit down to dinner with their son’s bully and his parents. Blame shifts over the course of the evening as everyone takes a turn in the hot seat for their real or imagined part in Joel’s suicide, and questions are raised that no one is prepared to answer. (Goodreads)
Late Company is a TENSE experience.
I picked up this book to see what kind of conversation could happen between the parents of a bullied to death teen and the parents of his bully would be like. It’s a pretty relevant (sadly) thing to think about. One in three teens report being bullied.
Jordan Tannahill has come up with quite a story — a story in which no one can be handed the full blame for a teenage boy’s death. It’s heartbreaking. On all sides. For all the characters involved. But it raises questions for both the characters and for the readers/viewers.
This play is uncomfortable. And it’s meant to be, I think. It’s meant to make us think. How do our actions influence others? How does our going along with something or ignoring it impact others? Are we taking the time and making the effort to really check in with those around us to see how they are doing?
Late Company is emotional, uncomfortable, tense, and so incredibly important.
Jordan Tannahill was recently awarded the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for his two-play volume Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom. He previously won the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays.