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

Julius Caesar at the Saint Lawrence Festival: this youthful staging highlights an excellent Richard Sheridan Willis in the leading role.

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,


Photos: Drew Hossick

Julius Caesar  by Shakespeare, directed by Rona Waddington,

During the first moments of the play, the Roman tribune admonishes the silly  people of Rome for wasting their time rejoicing about Caesar’s triumph over Pompey : “You blocks you stones, you worse than senseless things!” Especially since the same crowd recently cheered Pompey when he came to Rome. In this first tableau, Shakespeare and director Rona Waddington make several points. The Tribune , a male role, is played here by a woman so we know we are in a contemporary world of theatrical fun (never mind Brecht) , especially as the carnival atmosphere bursts joyously onto the stage. The audience is seduced immediately . This first contact also emphasizes the important notion that the fickle Roman crowd is easily manipulated by any talented orator such as Mark Antony, Brutus or Cassius whenever it serves their purpose, and this is one of the important strategies of Shakespeare’s text which clearly appears to be indestructible, no matter what one does in the acting space.

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Festival TransAmérique: Une île flottante /Das Weisse vom Ei (Floating Island/Egg White), a “bizarre riff” of an uproarously funny French farce.

Reviewed by on    All the world's a stage, Theatre in Canada   , ,

Theater Basel / Das Weisse vom Ei / Charlotte Clamens,  Marc Bodnar, Nikola Weisse, Ueli Jäggi

Guest reviewer Martin Morrow. (Globe and Mail, CBC)

Photo: Simon Halström.  Une île flottante, produced by Theater Basel and Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne. Directed by Christoph Marthaler. Adapted from La Poudre aux yeux by Eugène Labiche

  Montreal’s Festival TransAmériques, that showcase of the daring and the avant garde, opened its 10th edition last week with a classic French farce.

But wait for it: this was a French farce as deconstructed by Christoph Marthaler, the celebrated Swiss director who turned the Broadway musical on its ear a few years ago with his Meine Faire Dame, ein Sprachlabor – a bizarre riff on Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady, set in a language lab. So his new touring production, Une île flottante/Das Weisse vom Ei (Floating Island/Egg White), which kicked off the FTA at Place des Arts, is no traditional slice of boulevard theatre – although, like the best farces, it’s uproariously funny.

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