Capital Critics' Circle
Le cercle des critiques de la capitale

Reviewing Theatre in Canada's Capital Region
La critique théâtrale de la région Ottawa-Gatineau

The Drawer Boy. An OLT Production For The Top Drawer

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,


Photo by Maria Vartanova. Left to right: Brian Cana and Mike McSheffrey

The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey has been likened to John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. A one-set, small-cast show, set in 1972 rural Canada, it has won numerous awards as it expands on themes that explore the value of friendship, the line between fact and fiction and the part that the stage plays in uncovering the truth.

This quiet drama has been performed many times — and therein lies a problem. Not with the script itself, but with the fact that it has become somewhat stale after popping up so often since its premiere in 1999.

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Arms and the Man : Massingham’s exciting and disconcerting production is a mixture of performance styles that shows something is changing in Strathcona Park!

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region.  


Photo, courtesy of Odyssey Theatre.

George Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man (first staged in 1894) is a parody of war, with certain character “types” you might find in the Commedia, while the title is taken from  the opening sentence of Virgil’s Aeneid, glorifying the heroic feats of war: I sing of arms and the man”. This decidedly mischievous Shavian spin on the Balkan Wars could justify director Andy Massingham’s attempt to locate this play in a tradition of masked popular theatre.

However, the challenge for a director is daunting because the situations are complex and the characters do not necessarily correspond to the types that one would expect from masked Commedia performance . Still, it turns out rather well, because Andy has the company thrusting ahead with a lot of energy and they get to the essence of this comedy by moving from silly histrionics, comic mime, to deep-seated and biting satire, spewing out what appears to be a contemporary take on current politics, on human foibles and war heroics that no longer have any place in our society.

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The Ottawa Acting Company : New Theatre School in Ottawa

Reviewed by on    Arts News  


 THE ACTING  COMPANY  opens its doors

See their site :

Call: 613.744-5353

Information on instructors:


Located in the heart of Ottawa’s Glebe, our studios are housed in what was once the historic Avalon Theatre (one of Ottawa’s first movie theatres), recently renovated to showcase two distinct studio spaces. 

​ Our principal work space, the Avalon Studio , has dramatic 30ft. ceilings and a balcony which doubles as study space and Green Room. With its high ceilings, hard wood floors, lighting and sound capabilities, the Avalon makes for a perfect rental space for intimate events, workshops, and productions.