Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  


Photo: GCTC Zach Cousil and  Geoff McBride

Thanks to Ann-Marie Macdonald’s witty, and intelligent script, director Ann Hodges and her cast have shown us what a well written   play this really is.  When the Queen of Academe, Assistant professor Constance Ledbelly is projected into the world of her Shakespearean research, she finds herself interfering with the important moments of the plots of Othello and Romeo and Juliet as she searches for a more transgressive i.e. Feminist reading of the plays where the women refuse to be victims. Thus, the true author of these narratives, and even her own identity, must be revealed…and all this on the eve of Ledbelly’s birthday.

This is one of those cases where there are no memorable performances, nor are there memorable details but taken as an ensemble piece, everything fit together to create a perfect evening of fun in keeping with the style of the Company of Fools. It did not go much beyond that except that the text is much more complex than a “Fools” text would normally be so they had a lot more material to work with. We could mention Jock Munro’s expressive use of lighting, and the excellent choice of Elizabethan music to set the atmosphere, the reduced imitation of that Elizabethan thrust stage, the lovely costumes, John Koensgen’s excellent sword fighting sequences, and the general atmosphere of word and mind games, which included the tightly orchestrated mayhem and chaos that pervaded the whole performance and brought it all to life. Clearly director Ann Hodges was in charge. Margo MacDonald as the beleaguered Constance (Constantine) Ledbelly, trying to finish her PhD and trying to define her identity through her writing, was back in her Company of Fools mode , Zach Counsil was doing his normal comic stich, the others did what they were supposed to do  so the director held the upper hand made it all glow with humour and playfulness. 

A good evening of fun that will certainly amuse and hold the attention of the broadest possible audience. Not to be missed for an evening of pure entertainment. The show runs until December 15 at the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre. It starts at 8pm

Goodnight Desdemona (Good morning Juliet) by Ann-Marie Macdonald,

Set and costume designer Brian Smith

Composer and sound design: Steven Lafond

Lighting design: Jock Munro

Fight director: John Koensgen

Choreographer: Pippa Leslie


Desdemona etc. Sascha Cole

Romeo etc… Zach Counsil

Juliet..etc… Pippa Leslie

Constance Ledbelly Margo MacDonald

Professor Night , Othello etc Geoff McBride