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

GCTC brings Hannah Moscovitch’s What A Young Wife Ought to Know to the Stage with Intimate Performance

Reviewed by on    Student Reviews  

What a Young Wife Ought to Know. Photo Tomothy Patrick


Reviewed by Kellie  MacDonald.

                Cold, dirty, ugly, and boring: Hannah Moscovitch’s descriptions of Ottawa in the 1920s do not shy away from the grim realities of factory labour and tenement housing. Sisters Sophie (Liisa Repo-Martell) and Alma (Rebecca Parent) navigate an era of of rapidly changing attitudes towards sexuality, but still find themselves at the mercy of medicine, a patriarchal society, and entrenched class structure. Directed by Christian Barry, Ottawa-born Moscovitch’s What A Young Wife Ought to Know is produced by Halifax-based 2b Theatre Company and presented by the Great Canadian Theatre Company at the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre. (Continue reading » )

What a Young Wife Ought to Know is a lesson in clear-eyed compassion

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

What a young Wife ought to Know. Photo Timothy Patrick

At first sight, the two knitting needles stuck into an inconspicuous basket of wool seem a simple touch of domesticity. They are implements you’d expect any working class mother in the 1920s to wield with some skill and love if she wanted to keep her family decently clothed.

But as Hannah Moscovitch’s trenchant What a Young Wife Ought to Know (at the Great Canadian Theatre Company) proceeds, those needles, part of the set and never removed from the wool, take on a terrible potentiality. For this is a play concerned with women’s reproductive rights – or, more precisely, the absence of them — and we all know the horrifying use to which knitting needles have sometimes been put in the service of birth control. (Continue reading » )