News from Capital Critics Circle
par Philippe Couture Voir, 13 février, 2014
Photo : Yan Turcotte
Christian Lapointe dialogue depuis toujours avec la notion de disparition: pas étonnant qu’il ait trouvé dans l’écriture de Marguerite Duras un territoire fertile pour approfondir sa pensée. Sa mise en scène de L’homme atlantique et La maladie de la mort, perchée entre théâtre et cinéma, est un ballet délicat et délicieux entre l’amour et la mort.
Dans son cycle de la disparition (CHS, Anky ou la fuite et Sepsis) ou dans ses mises en scène orientalisantes des textes de William Butler Yeats, Christian Lapointe a inventé des formes radicales pour sonder l’essence de l’âme humaine et son dialogue incessant avec sa propre disparition. La mort rôde toujours dans le théâtre de Lapointe, mais on oublie parfois que l’amour est aussi dans sa ligne de mire et que la recherce d’amour fait partie intrinsèque de sa réflexion sur la disparition (et l’impossibilité d’une réelle existence au monde). En s’appropriant les mots de Duras, qui flirtent toujours avec la notion d’absence mais beaucoup avec l’amour et la quête de l’autre, Lapointe se dévoile dans une émotion nouvelle et son spectacle, bien que très formel et entièrement articulé dans une tension entre le corps et l’écran, est porté par une délicatesse qu’on lui connaissait peu. Du moins, les mots de Duras le poussent à ne pas lutter constamment contre l’affect et l’émotion, sans toutefois s’y perdre. Un bel équilibre.
February 27, 2014 Thursday at 11:19 pm
Reviewed by Patrick Langston
Ottawa Citizen February 27, 20140
Jayson McDonald in Underbelly, Photo credit William Beddoe
At one point in underbelly, Jayson McDonald’s hallucinogenic, one-man show inspired by the life and times of mid-20th century American beat writer William S. Burroughs, “Willy” gives us a brief autobiography. He then mimes the famous Burroughs writing technique of cutting up and repositioning phrases, so the original recounting of how he lost his virginity to a prostitute is transformed into “I lost my virginity to mankind.”
It’s a sardonic reflection on his own and all of life — much as the entire show is — and a reminder of how Burroughs’ relationship with normal reality was a loose one. That relationship seems, on the basis of McDonald’s show, to have bothered Burroughs not in the least.
Burroughs was, of course, a junkie and a writer so a readiness to reconstruct reality according to his own parameters isn’t surprising. And because he was also a gifted writer, when Willy starts talking about giant bugs and assorted other creatures that could have slithered straight out of John Carpenter’s horror film The Thing, a dark, even hypnotic lyricism sometimes emerges.
February 27, 2014 Thursday at 11:02 pm
Reviewed by Alvina Ruprecht
Frédérique Thérien et Simon Bradshaw. Photo. Sylvain Sabatier.
L’effervescence dans l’École de La Salle a vite débordé les couloirs de la section « théâtre » pour remplir la salle de spectacles de cette institution où la troupe La Catapulte nous a offert sa dernière création, La Fille d’Argile. En attendant la reconstruction de son espace, le centre culturel franco-ontarien La Nouvelle scène, le tandem Michel Ouellette (auteur dramatique) et Joël Bedows (metteur en scène) qui nous ont déjà donné d’excellents moments de théâtre (Le Testament du couturier, Frères d’hiver etc ), nous retrouvent dans la belle salle de cet espace scolaire avec ce drame d’ados qui capte l’impuissance, la frustration, la rage des jeunes piégés à tous les coups.
February 27, 2014 Thursday at 10:41 am
Reviewed by Jamie Portman
Photo: Andrée Lanthier
There’s a terrific moment in the National Arts Centre’s production of Enron when we watch a succession of smaller and smaller containers being manipulated in order to demonstrate the art of corporate fraud.
The manipulator is a talented numbers geek named Andy Fastow, played with slicked-down hair and an excess of smarm by Eric Davis. He’s an anxious minion who yearns to be “somebody” in Enron — that’s the notorious Texas energy corporation that came to typify the worst excesses of corporate crime after its 2001 bankruptcy revealed that its purported $100 billion in revenues didn’t really exist.
February 26, 2014 Wednesday at 2:43 pm
News from Capital Critics Circle
Royal Court, London 5 / 5 stars
Reviewed by Michael Billington, for the Guardian, September 23, 2013.
Samuel West, Tim Pigott-Smith and Amanda Drew in Enron. Photograph: Tristram Kenton
After the high praise earned in Chichester, there was always the lurking fear the Enron bubble might burst on transfer. But, although it had more room to manoeuvre at the Minerva, Lucy Prebble’s play and Rupert Goold’s production are so strong that they survive the move. What they vividly offer is not a lecture on corporate madness but an ultra-theatrical demonstration of it at work.
February 25, 2014 Tuesday at 7:13 pm
Reviewed by Maja Stefanovska
Lucy Prebble has taken on a lot in her play Enron, about the energy giant whose name has become synonymous with systematic, paneed out corporate fraud. The play tries to cover the rise of the corporation, the characters involved in it, as well as the impact its demise had on the workers. There are raptors representing the shadow companies Enron used to unload its losses onto and there are musical numbers. Add to this bobble-head president stand-ins and you have a meandering mess of elements that fail to come together in a script that not only takes too much, but doesn’t know what it actually wants to say about its chosen theme. Director Ron Jenkins creates a slick production with some interesting elements, but he was ultimately fighting a losing battle with material that lacked substance. (more…)
February 23, 2014 Sunday at 11:31 am
Reviewed by Iris Winston
Photo: Metro News Fils.
In Enron (the play) the smoke and mirrors of Enron (the company) have been transformed into a highly entertaining and flashy theatrical kaleidoscope.
The energy company went from stock market darling to massive bankruptcy disaster — the largest in American corporate history — in 2001. CEO Jeffrey Skilling may even have believed that his “powerhouse of ideas” and the possibility of trading energy as well as supplying it could keep the company afloat. He may have trusted his CFO Andy Fastow, as they developed shadow companies to absorb and hide Enron’s debt in a system likened to small and smaller Russian dolls, nested inside each other.
February 23, 2014 Sunday at 10:59 am
Reviewed by Jamie Portman
John Mighton’s award-winning play, Half Life, is a delicate piece — a meditation on memory in all its potency and uncertainty and unreliability. We never really know whether Patrick and Clara, these two aging residents in a nursing home, actually knew and loved each other in an earlier time. They themselves may think so, even though their grasp of the past seems problematic. But Mighton’s script suggests that this doesn’t really matter. What counts is that a relationship is now happening; it may seem precarious because Clara’s mind in particular is clouded; it may — as Patrick especially insists — be a renewal of an old love, or it may well be a late-flowering attraction between two people who have in fact never met before.
Director Daniel Brooks, who staged the premiere production of Half Life at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, suggested in 2005 that the play is as much about forgetting as it is about memory — that it is driven by the thesis that we are ultimately defined as much by what we forget as what we can remember, and that time as we normally understand it can be capricious, even irrelevant when it comes to understanding our identity.
February 22, 2014 Saturday at 12:19 pm
Reviewed by Maja Stefanovska
Half Life isn’t a play that provides easy answers. Indeed, it’s a play that distinctly provides very few answers to the large, often philosophical questions it poses. On the surface, it’s the tale of a burgeoning love between two nursing home residents. Scratch below the surface, though and you realize that writer John Mighton has created a work that transcends its immediate topic to deal with larger themes. It’s a play about ageing and the way our society treats its older members; it’s about memory and the bittersweet process of remembering and forgetting; and it’s about the way our own psyches and events impact our treatment of those around us. It’s a multi-layered play that requires an understanding of and empathy for not only its themes, but the human spirit. Director Jim McNabb shows he has both in his wonderfully sensitive, thoughtful adaptation for the Ottawa Little Theatre.
Half Life opens with two middle-aged divorcees meeting in the waiting room of a nursing home. Donald (played by Bryan Morris), a scientist specializing in neural research, is there to visit his frail mother, Clara (Marjory Bryce) a ritual he performs almost every day. Anna (Linda Webster) is there to sign in her father, Patrick (Dan Baran), who has of late become depressive and is an increasing danger to himself. When Clara and Patrick meet, the two are drawn to each other and both seem to remember a brief, but meaningful affair between them during the Second World War. The two become increasingly close and fall deliciously, madly in love. However, Patrick, worried about his increasingly frail mother and still reeling from the recent death of his father, is full of trepidation and refuses to consent to their marriage, which has a great effect on both involved parties. (more…)
February 22, 2014 Saturday at 11:52 am
Reviewed by Jane Baldwin
Red-Eye to Havre de Grace resembles a story that might have been written by Edgar Allen Poe, dealing as it does with his mental degeneration and mysterious demise on October 7, 1849. It is particularly ironic that the death of the author considered the inventor of the detective tale has remained unsolved.
The creators of Red-Eye to Havre de Grace archly describe it as an “action opera.” While an interesting show, there is little action – at least in the usual meaning – and comparatively
little singing. It is more dialogue based with Ean Sheehy, as Edgar Allen Poe, speaking most of the lines, assisted by Jeremy Wilhelm in a variety of roles. Sheehy’s remarkable resemblance to Poe brings an element of realism to an unrealistic play. (more…)
February 22, 2014 Saturday at 9:50 am