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

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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

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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 » )

Ottawa Fringe 2014. Einstein…

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The Story:  What do most of us know about Albert Einstein other than that he had crazy hair and dreamed up some incomprehensible stuff about relativity? Deciding that we need to know more, Jack Fry created his one-man show about Einstein’s personal life and valiant struggle to prove that his calculation about energy and mass was accurate. Too bad Fry gets so badly sidetracked in the execution of what started as a good idea.

Pros:   Fry does manage to explain, in simple terms and with the help of projections on a large screen, the theory of relativity.

Cons:   They’re manifold, from silly sex jokes to Fry’s failed, over-the-top attempt to play with anything approaching conviction his main character let alone the host of others – from fellow scientists to Einstein’s alienated son Hans – whom he introduces. The show is too long, self-regarding and unnecessary.

Verdict :  An overwrought, sophomoric look at human complexity.


Jack Fry, Los Angeles, Calif.

Studio Leonard-Beaulne