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

1979: An amusing play, not a satire

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Canada, Theatre in Ottawa and the region   , , , ,


Photo by Andrew Alexander

The year is 1979 and the Canadian political scene is in upheaval. The Conservative government has just replaced Trudeau’s Liberals, and the new Prime Minister, Joe Clark, is trying to govern the country on the principles of honesty, truthfulness, and adherence to his high ideals. During his short period in the cabinet, he meets with much stronger adversaries than the opposition party – human greed and corrupt nature. While he stays true to himself and to Canadians, he, as a political misfit, ultimately looses the battle. (Continue reading » )

1979: A clear demonstration of the entertainment value of Canadian politics

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Canada, Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

1979 by Michael Healey GCTC/Shaw Festival co-production  Directed by Eric Coates

Principles are just part of the equation on the road to success in political life. Also pertinent are viable policies, cunning, surface charm and a willingness to change course, step away from principles, promises and even integrity to stay in power. (The old dictum of the Ins wanting to stay in and the Outs wanting to get in by almost any means has not changed much over the centuries.)

But, to Joe Clark, Canada’s 16th and youngest Prime Minister, principle and integrity were more important than power. Therefore, he remained in the PM’s chair for just nine months. (Continue reading » )

Strawberries in January: an appropriate translation does not guarantee a production that captures the essence of the play

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,

Evelyne de la Chenelière, born in 1975, is something of a prodigy. She has written nearly fifteen plays all of which have been produced,  and in 2006, she won a Governor General’s Award for her play Désordre public (2006).   In 2007, the French theatre of the National Arts Centre brought in a production of her very moving monologue Bashir Lazhar (which is apparently being made into a film at this moment) about an Algerian immigrant who comes to Canada, finds a job as a teacher and tries to explain to his students, – i.e. the audience – the problems of an outsider such as himself trying to integrate into this country.

(Continue reading » )

Facts at the GCTC: Powerful play by Arthur Milner that will encourage debate on a hot subject.

Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region   ,


Photo from The Guardian, UK,  with Michael Feast, Paul Rattray, Philip Arditti

Playwright Arthur Milner does not waste any time. Israeli Detective Yossi HaCohen (John Koensgen) is impatiently waiting for Khalid Yassin (Sam Kalilieh) the Inspector from the Palestinian Authority to arrive so they can begin their inquest into the murder/death of renowned American archaeologist Gordon Philips, killed in the West Bank. By whom? That is the question. The meeting takes place on the West Bank and Khalid arrives, visibly annoyed because he was held up at various Israeli check points. First impression: the two are on very good terms. Khalid, we are told, starts by speaking Hebrew, then Yossi mentions speaking Arabic but of course they are both speaking English and language takes on an important symbolic value in this region where communication has become almost impossible.

(Continue reading » )