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

For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again: Margo Kane Shines Brightly

Reviewed by on    Professional Theatre, Summer Theatre 2011  


Photo: Magnetic North handout.

Hard to say when Margo Kane shines brightest in Michel Tremblay’s warm memory play about his mother Nana.

Maybe it’s when, wearing Nana’s perennial outfit of kerchief, apron and sensible shoes, she imitates an ill-coordinated 15-year old ballet dancer to accompany one of the endless and endlessly funny stories Nana tells to her affectionately long-suffering son, played by Lorne Cardinal.

Perhaps it’s when Nana imagines disguising herself in a gas mask to avoid embarrassment at church after her son has, in her overactive mind, committed a heinous crime.

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Beyond a Joke: Where Suspension of disbelief is really stretched.

Reviewed by on    Community Theatre, Summer Theatre 2011  

Talk about the willing suspension of disbelief. Derek Benfield’s Beyond a Joke requires acceptance of a concept stretched to the limit of credibility and beyond.

Six people have died suddenly while working at Jane and Andrew’s country house in England. Unfortunate accidents, it seems, but little wonder their daughter’s fiancé suspects murderous intent. And when the body count goes up, his suspicion seems justified.

It is extremely challenging for actors trying to maintain a semblance of normality in such a setup, even with a realistic and workable indoor/outdoor set, designed by Paul Gardner. All but one of the cast of the Ottawa Little Theatre production directed by Dorothy Ann Gardner rise to the challenge to some degree, but only one is entirely believable throughout and completely at ease with the Oscar Wilde comedic style of making the insignificant important and vice versa.

Sarah Hearn plays Andrew’s sister with total assurance as a pragmatic, no-nonsense woman, ready to roll up her sleeves to dispose of dead bodies or sit in an oasis of calm reading the newspaper.

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Heroes : an impeccable trio makes this perfect escapism as they plot to break free!”

Reviewed by on    Professional Theatre, Summer Theatre 2011  

Gananoque, on the St. Lawrence River not far from Kingston, is a pretty town that bursts with lush green all summer and turns decidedly autumnal – its trees looking weary, the afternoon light less penetrating than even a month earlier – at this time of year.

So it’s only appropriate that Gananoque’s Thousand Islands Playhouse is this month presenting Heroes, Tom Stoppard’s adaptation of Gerald Sibleyras’ Le Vent de Peupliers.

The play is about three aging World War One soldiers living in a veteran’s home circa 1959. The friends, who have claimed possession of a small terrace while the other residents congregate at a more expansive spot, spend their days doing what you’d imagine old men doing: reading, squabbling, occasionally reminiscing about their womanizing days. They do it all with the sporadic urgency about small things that seems to grip elderly men more often than it does women.

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Congre et Homard de Gael Octavia. Un grand moment du “off”.

Reviewed by on    Summer Theatre 2011, Théâtre caribéen, Théâtre français  

Une œuvre qui a suivi un processes de création intéressant que j’ai pu suivre de la Guadeloupe  jusqu’en Avignon.  Congre et Homard, présenté d’abord comme une mise en lecture en Guadeloupe il y a 2 ans, a été réalisé grâce à l’appui de ‘Textes en paroles’. Cette association guadeloupéenne œuvre à la promotion des écritures dramatiques de la Caraïbe soumises à un processus de sélection par un jury international. L’auteur Gael Octavia est martiniquaise; les deux protagonistes sont joués par des Guadeloupéens Joel Jernider, (comédien)  et Dominik  Bernard  (comédien et metteur en scène).

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