Stratford 2015

Stratford Scores With an Intriguing Revival of John Mighton’s Possible Worlds

Reviewed by Jamie Portman

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Photo: David Hou

STRATFORD — The Stratford Festival’s new production of John Mighton’s award-winning Possible Worlds begins with the sight of a man’s naked body, dead in a pool of water.

The imagery is bold but not quite real. The lighting is dank, the soundscape ominous. Near the body, silhouetted in the water, is his clothing, evoking the shape and substance of what he once was. And then the corpse pulls himself back to life — well, at least, a sort of life. But there’s a questing element to all this as he splashes through the water and dresses himself in his soaking garments.

And if we’re not sure at this point who or what he is, neither — we suspect — is he.

It’s the sort of moment that can have us retrieving pop-culture references out of our own consciences. William Holden looking down on his own murdered corpse in Norma Desmond’s swimming pool in Sunset Boulevard? Or maybe Jeff Bridges struggling into a form of being in Starman? Or is this simply how my own particular world responds at a particular moment in time in watching the play? (more…)

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