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

Extremely Short New Play Theatre Festival. A good evening of discovery with some genuine surprises!

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,


Photo of cast. Courtesy of John Koensgen and the Extremely Short New Play Theatre Festival

11 short plays presented one after the other , each one lasting a maximum of 10 minutes, selected out of a total of 150 from all over the continent, is a definite sign that this “Short New Play” event is catching on and enticing young writers to submit their work. Judging by what we saw opening night (Saturday Nov. 27) at the Avalon Theatre on Bank St. there are several individuals who can write for the stage and who are not at all hampered by time constraints, in fact it seems to propel their writing on. The difficulty is usually how to finish the piece and make it all tie together, or finish the evening by opening a new door to something even more exciting, distressing or disturbing!

(Continue reading » )

The Extremely Short Play Festival 2016 : At the Avalon watch for it.

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,


War on Thugs by Brad Long
The Cold Blue Flame of Love by Brian K. Stewart
Anniversary by Ronit Rubinstein
The Paperboy Comes Before Dawn by Aaron Adair
B4U Know It by John Levine
Hitchers by Joe Purcell and Kate Danley
The Patient by James Belich
Blind Date by Christine Weems
Please Remain Seated by Gary Choy
Check-In by Ron Frankel
Necktie by John Minigan

THE ESNPF 2016 WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE AVALON STUDIO November 25, 26, 27 and December 2, 3, 4 @8 PM
Tickets $23

Burn: Muggleton and cast put on suspenseful, fun play

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

Photo: John Muggleton

Photo: John Muggleton

Written and directed by John Muggleton
Avalon Studio

Longtime friends Robert, Samira, and David meet after some time apart at the request of the daughter of their recently deceased friend, successful horror writer, Paul. None of the three friends know precisely why Eve, the daughter, wants to meet them, except to deliver something – whether it’s news, a portion of their friend’s will, or a package isn’t clear. When she arrives, she easily and somewhat aggressively inserts herself into the conversation. Thing start quickly falling off the rails when she insists on telling her own horror (or is it ghost?) story, peppering it with unsettling secrets from Robert’s and Paul’s past. It’s at this point that Robert, Samira, and David realize that there is something undeniably eerie about Eve. Although the script and directing needs some very minor fine-tuning, writer and director John Muggleton ultimately takes the audience from comfort and intimacy to the edge of their seats in suspense in, Burn.

It’s obvious that Muggleton knows a thing or two about people – how they love, how they doubt, and what and how they fear. The play opens with a rather lengthy exchange between Robert (Chris Torti), Samira (Tahera Mufti), and David (Michael Thompson) as they wait for Eve’s arrival. Although this section could be shortened a bit, there is a method to the seemingly slow pace. Muggleton, Torti, Mufti, and Thompson take the time to establish  characters and invite the audience into their private world. Empathy is a powerful drug and it’s this intimacy makes the suspense and horror, when it does come, that much more powerful. Having said that, the same effect could have been achieved in less time. (Continue reading » )

Burn: Promising situation but problems in making it work

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

Photo: John Muggleton

Photo: John Muggleton


Written and directed by John Muggleton

Avalon Studio to Nov. 13

There’s a certain type of thriller that makes its impact by bringing in a character whose very presence generates apprehension and unease both on and off stage.

That’s the task of actress Megan Carty who is very good at cranking up the tension in John Muggleton’s new play, Burn, at the Avalon Studio.

She plays a young woman named Eve whose initial flakiness slides into something more tenacious and sinister once she starts playing mind games with a trio of literary types named Robert, Samira and David.

The latter, still recovering from the death in another city of an old friend named Paul,  have received a mysterious summons. That’s why they are together this evening, wine and other booze in plentiful supply, to await the daughter of Paul’s daughter, Eve.

So what’s it all about? It might seem we have a typical Agatha Christie situation here — but Burn has more provocative concerns in mind than such Christieland items as A Murder Has Been Announced or And Then There Were None. (Continue reading » )