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

43- Filth : trapped in our useless and muddy reality of being?

Reviewed by on    All the world's a stage   , ,

A production from Tallin, Estonia: the winner of XIV Europe Prize Theatrical Realities, 2017.

43-Mud, photo Tiit Ojasoo,  Europe prize in Rome

The end of the world has come, there is nowhere to go, we are trapped in our uselessness and muddy reality of being… that is the message that Theatre N099 and its performance No 43 – Filth want to convey.  The statement is not new, the passion it carries is not surprising, the methods it uses are curious. (Continue reading » )

Annie not Suzart’s finest hour

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

 Annie, Book by Thomas Meehan, Music by Charles Strouse

Lyrics by Martin Charnin, Suzart Productions

Directed by Kraig-Paul Proulx

 Success is elusive, especially when the product seems simple but actually requires a great deal of subtlety and skill to make it more than a sickly sweet vehicle for kids looking cute on stage.

Annie, the 1977 musical inspired by the Orphan Annie cartoon strip of the 1930s, is such a product. While the musical, with book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, has its share of catchy tunes and even a near-classic number in Tomorrow, it drips with sentiment and requires a massive suspension of disbelief to become even mildly credible.

(Continue reading » )

Basket of Deplorables : a mostly pleasant experience!

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

Photo: Plosive Production


Basket of Deplorables By Tom Rachman at Gladstone Theatre

If the definition of satire is: “ the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and critisize people’s  stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issures” Tom rachman definitely hit t he mark with his latest book  “Basket of Deploraples.”    In this series of short stories , he explores the  Trump era with an open eye , leaving no room for sympathy for the culture of his own time.  Of course, his lont journalistic career made him a knowable observer of our reality.  (Continue reading » )

Festival Quatre Chemins Entretien avec Guy Régis Jr.

Reviewed by on    All the world's a stage, Arts News   , ,


guy régisGuy Régis Jr. a pris la direction artistique de ce festival en 2014, à la suite  de la Fokal, qui l’avait fondé à la demande d’artistes haïtiens: comédiens, musiciens, plasticiens, réunis en collectif, sous la houlette de Daniel Marcelin, metteur en scène et directeur du Petit Conservatoire jusqu’à sa fermeture en 2014. Le jeune artiste revenait d’un séjour de six ans en France. « J’ai quitté Haïti, dit-il pour croiser mon travail avec d’autres artistes, ici, je continue ». (Continue reading » )

Construire le mur (Building the Wall) de Robert Shenkkan

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   , ,

. Publié le 6 décembre sur   Paris

Brad Long, Building the Wall,

Cette pièce dont l’auteur américain, qui a obtenu de nombreux prix (Tony et Pulitzer), a aussi écrit des  scénarios pour le cinéma et la télévision qui ont retenu l’attention de tout le public  aux États-Unis. Construire le mur qui a tourné aux Etats-unis vient de terminer sa création canadienne à  Ottawa et le public s’y  est précipité;  les œuvres de ce genre sont en effet rares chez nous!  Depuis l’arrivée de Donald Trump  au pouvoir, l’image du mur est devenu  le symbole  de son projet politico-idéologique :  une construction  qui enferme, interdit, exclut, rejette, isole, sépare…et assure une distance entre les êtres humains. La  pièce montre, avec une  simplicité  désarmante, notre glissement, presque imperceptible, vers une absence de conscience,  une indifférence qui  aboutit à la normalisation et la légitimité des gestes les plus horrifiants.
(Continue reading » )

Testament, d’après le roman de Vickie Gendreau, adaptation et mise en scène d’Anne-Marie Ouillet

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   , ,

En juin dernier, au  Centre des Arts d’Ottawa, Marie Brassard a monté un spectacle  à partir des textes de Nelly Arcan, une jeune écrivaine qui s’est suicidée à trente-six ans, à Montréal:  La Fureur de ce que je pense d’après son roman(voir l’article de Jane Baldwin,  premier jalon théâtral de la création auto-fictionnelle cette année, puisque l’école de théâtre de l’Université d’Ottawa  poursuit une expérience semblable. (Continue reading » )

Blind Date Take a Chance on Love… and Fun

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

 Blind date is a particularly unique type of theatre. It is a world premier every evening in that the circumstances and the cast change. An improvisational adventure that involves a somewhat randomly selected cast member for each individual performance insures that no one knows exactly how the play is going to unfold.

(Continue reading » )

Peter Pan and Wendy: Fly away Peter please!

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

Peter Pan and Wendy
Photo Maria Vartanova


Peter Pan and Wendy

By Doug Rand, directed by Riley Stewart

Based on the novel by J.M. Barrie


American playwright Doug Rand’s recent adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s 1911 novel gives Wendy equal time with Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up.

The script maintains most of the well-known elements of the story of how Peter Pan enticed the Darling children to fly away with him to Neverland. Captain Hook, the crocodile, the fairy Tinker Bell, the lost boys and the pirates all make appearances as the story moves slowly to its unlikely fairytale ending.

(Continue reading » )

Building the Wall: live theatre at its best. Please extend the run or bring it back soon!!

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

Building the Wall
Poster from the Gladstone

By Robert Schenkkan

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Theatre

Directed by Sean Devine

People laughed at Adolf Hitler before he gained power and his evil intentions became reality.


Donald Trump was also a source of amusement to many until he became President of the United States. But when his support base took his election as permission for the overt expression of the violence, racism and exploitation that had been kept just below the surface, we all stopped laughing.  Evil had been invited in again as it was through the Nazi regime.

(Continue reading » )

Building the Wall is outstanding theatre!!

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

Building the Wall,   Cassandre Mentor.  Photo  from New Ottawa Critics

Building the Wall By Robert Schenkkan

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Theatre

Directed by Sean Devine



It was historian Hannah Arendt who famously advanced  the concept of the banality of evil.

This viewpoint threaded its way through her book, Eichmann In Jerusalem, a riveting account of the trial of an infamous Nazi war criminal.

But you’ll also understand what she was getting at if you venture out to the Gladstone this weekend to see American dramatist Robert Schenkkan’s quietly lacerating new play,  Building The Wall, and take in Brad Long’s unsettling portrayal of a redneck prison officer who has been complicit in unspeakable crimes against humanity. (Continue reading » )