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

4 heures du matin: une complicité émouvante entre acteur et metteur en scène

Reviewed by on    All the world's a stage   ,

Cette adaptation par Hassane Kouyaté,  du roman d’Ernest J. Gaines  (nommé aux Prix Pulitzer et Prix Nobel de littérature), est une  production de Tropiques Atrium ( Fort de France) oὺ Kouyaté dirige la scène nationale. Cette saison, deux créations de l’ Atrium  ont été intégrées à la programmation du Tarmac :  Le But de Roberto Carlos  (mise en scène et scénographie de Kouyaté ), une coproduction du Tarmac et de la Scène nationale de Martinique,  est une réflexion sur la migration recréée par un acteur, un chanteur et un musicien. Ensuite, Paris a reçu  Quatre heures du matin, adapté du roman de l’Américain Ernest Gaines et mis en scène par Kouyate.  Ce monologue est  une coproduction de la Scène nationale  et de la Cie  2 temps 3 mouvements.  Ruddy Syllaire, acteur d’origine haïtienne établi  depuis de nombreuses années en Martinique et qui a  interprété Othello à Montréal sous la direction de Denis Marleau, a eu le rôle du  jeune migrant, alors qu’un   acteur d’origine congolaise Abdon Fortuné Koumbha  a incarné  Lewis, le jeune noir  qui se débat contre le racisme américain dans le texte de Gaines.

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Love’s Labour’s Lost: a joyous ensemble piece thanks to director C. Leger.

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,


Photos: Marianne Duval.

A joyous romp in the state of Navarre (betweenthe current French and Spanish border) on a glowing autumn set designed by John Doucet where 16 student actors cut their acting teeth with the most difficult playwright of the English language! Not an easy thing to do. Apparently this is the first Shakespeare that the University of Ottawa theatre department has done in the past 15 years. Adaptations of Shakespeare have been produced but this one remained fairly close to the original with some cuts in the enormously long monologues which would exhaust any actor.

The King of Navarre declares that all his lords must sign an oath of chastity for three years! This becomes difficult  when the ladies from the French court arrive in all their beautiful dresses (thanks to Vanessa Imeson) and sexy hairdos (thanks to Sydney Miller) and swoop into the midst of these nervous young Spanish lords.  Their visit has political reasons but it soon takes another turn. The young men all fall in love, passionate love letters are secretly exchanged, sent to the wrong ladies and they all have to admit to their hypocrisy which becomes exacerbated as they try to woo back their loves by heightening their theatrical concoctions which create wonderful moments of popular comic theatre within theatre. However, the ladies of the French court  are even more disappointed. 

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Viol( Schändung) : a magnificently choreographed production of Bothos Strauss’ reworking of Titus Andronicus

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region.   ,

Sixteen tableaux performed by a huge cast of students including a chorus that not only speaks but also transforms itself into parts of the set and integrated symbolic forms, reveals the enormous talents of Miriam Cusson, candidate for the Masters in directing in the theatre department of Ottawa U. She actually choreographs as much as directs this string of sado masochistic rituals of martyrization, and frenzied physical desire set off by the site of the sacrificial victim – violated, slashed and mutilated. A playful mise en abyme of a contemporary horror show where the director brings in the voyeuristic faces of the chorus peering out from the back of the set as they gaze on a whole society coming to pieces. There is the lust, the exhibitionism, the penitence…some of the most violent human instincts come crashing down on the spectator in this captivating parade of ceremonies that holds our attention every second of the evening. . The thread that runs through the performance is inherited from the Elizabethan (or Jacobean) Vengeance tragedies of Thomas Kyd a contemporary of Shakespeare; however, it owes even more to the ultimate vengeance tragedy Thyeste by the roman playwright Seneca that so intrigued Artaud

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Tremblay’s caracters weave their tail of booze and drunkenness: a Greek chorus materializes from the troubled mind of Marcel, persued by the Hounds.

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

Matt Smith and ManonMarcel Pursued by the Hounds Smith, Dumas, Lefebvre  Dumas in Marcel poursuivi par les chiens.

The Carleton Tavern is the  perfect venue for this  intense little drama by Michel Tremblay, which opened this weekend in Ottawa’s west end theatre district!  Marcel Pursued by the Hounds was first staged in French in  1992 and  this translation by John  Van Burek and Bill Glassco while not respecting the levels of popular vernacular that are so central to Tremblay,s plays, seems to give directors Lisa Zanyk and Donnie Laflamme, a lot of scope to play with language.  This play i  another one of  his works that completes the   geneology of all the characters who make up the extended  family of Albertine,  living on the Plateau in Montréal . 

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Fragments: A Quintet of Beckett One-Act plays Visiting from Les Bouffes du Nord

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


Peter Brook’s productions of Fragments, a quintet of Beckett one-acts, and The Grand Inquisitor, drawn from Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, arrived at ArtsEmerson the week of March 21 for a two-week run to much fanfare.  It marked the first time in forty years that a Brook production had played Boston.   In 1971, his history-making idiosyncratic and theatricalist A Midsummer Night’s Dream (produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company) had astounded audiences and critics here. 

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