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

Lepage’s 887: An Innovative Exploration into the World of Memory

Reviewed by on    Student Reviews, Theatre in Ottawa and the region   , ,

887 Photo Erick Labbé.

Reviewed by Natasha Lomonossoff

Ex Machina’s production of Robert Lepage’s recent play 887, showing at the National Arts Centre’s Babs Asper theatre, is a true triumph in innovative storytelling. The technologies of video and image projection work to complement the events and interactions that are recounted onstage in a way that is meaningful rather than cheesy. The program for the show states that “Ex Machina’s creative team believes that the performing arts-dance, opera, music-should be mixed with recorded arts-filmmaking, video art and multimedia.” Upon seeing a performance of 887, one is inclined to agree. (Continue reading » )

Mr. Shi and His Lover: a tautly executed superlative piece of musical theatre

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

Mr Shi and His Lover: Jordan Cheng and Derek Kwan, Photo Erik Kuong

A word of advice: If you’re going to see this superlative chamber musical, take the time to read the introductory notes from Macau Experimental Theatre that accompany the National Arts Centre’s program as well as the program itself.

That material will give you not just the show’s background – for instance, it’s based on a two-decades long, real-life love affair between two men: a French diplomat and a Peking opera singer who presented himself as a woman – but also provide invaluable explanatory musical and storyline anchors for a show that, like its concerns with love, deceit, identity and the nature of performance, eludes easy categorization and slyly resists our natural hunger for definitive answers in the face of ambiguity. (Continue reading » )