Reviewer: Laurie Fyffe

Laurie Fyffe
Laurie Fyffe obtained her M.A. in Theatre studies at the University of Ottawa. She is a playwright and currently lives in Ottawa.

Earnest goes to Bollywood at Plosive Theatre.

Reviewed by Laurie Fyffe

Plosive Theatre certainly knows how to get your attention. Ottawa’s newest theatre company has taken to the Gladstone’s stage with a curiously layered rendering of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest set in British colonial India. This may require pausing a moment to review director David Whiteley’s extensive glossary of terms, time better spent enjoying the view of Andrea Robertson’s set, as lit by John Solman, with its collage of dusty colours, hinting that the streets of Calcutta lie somewhere beyond. Pretty as the set is, however, it doesn’t give the actors much room to move about, and the empty space between stage platform and curtain creates a physical and metaphysical gap that not all the performers are adept at negotiating. {Is this a play within a play? Are the bored colonials staging a performance?} The result is that Wilde’s comedy of manners feels a bit cramped, with both Garret Quirk’s Algernon and Stewart Matthews’ Jack forced to elbow it out on a small bench for almost the whole of Act One. They really do seem to be talking to themselves.

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