I got to see the preview last night.
It was an odd piece. In tone and shape, it was very close to classical Greek theatre. A lot of things happened offstage and then were referred to by other characters, or by the chorus.
I haven’t seen very much classical Greek theatre, so keep that in mind as you read this.
The costume design was really effective. The set was interesting, with what looked like a huge LP record on the floor of what was the club and also the street “the Main”.
It was difficult for me to watch, because I am not used to this style of play, with its heightened ritualistic approach. I left the show thinking mostly about the ritual, but I won’t deny the presentation had a lot of power that more naturalistic plays have to work harder to achieve.
The actors were flawless (well, maybe I caught one drying briefly, but I can’t be sure). They had to be, because the play derived its strength from the power of its words and how they were delivered, and by who.
Even writing about it now, I’m thinking I’d like to go see it again, which is not what I was thinking last night. But I do wonder how accessible this presentation is going to be to audiences in general.
I took advantage of the @canadianstage offer this weekend and snagged a $20 ticket for “Fernando Krapp Wrote Me This Letter”.
Let me first bow to the Canadian Stage marketing team for the brilliance of their slogan on the ads, “Live Theatre is Krapp”. Both humourous and it defangs that word. Krapp.
This is a bold programming move to open a season. A one act play? By a German playwright? What is this new artistic director thinking, where are the musicals, where are my smelling salts?
Well, at least for me, it’s a move that worked. This is a brilliant quasi-real piece with a lot of talented actors, great set design, sharp direction. There is a lot of humour, and a lot of sadness and some odd nightmare situations.
The only thing I couldn’t figure out about the set design was the end piece showing a kind of park scene. If you see it, you’ll know what I’m talking about, if you don’t see it, why would you care?
Go follow @canadianstage on Twitter anyway, but if you’re in Toronto looking for a great theatre show this weekend, jump on this sweet deal they are offering.
Now to see what they do with the rest of their season.
Saw Talk at the Jane Mallett on Wednesday.
A very intellectual play with a sparse set. I saw the two elegant leather chairs facing each other, and said to myself, “Dear God, please not a talking heads play!”
Well, it wasn’t quite a talking heads play. I mean, the characters got up and walked around. But does walking around make it not a talking heads play?
Because the subject of the play is (I think) near and dear to the playwright’s heart and soul, there are a lot of words dedicated to getting the ideas across. And for me, too many words. Very elegant and meaningful words, yes. It’s not badly written. But, less would be more in this case for me.
The structure of the play was for me and for a friend who saw it with me, a bit odd. To say more would spoil your experience of it, but the way the throughline of the play proceeded confused me more than it delighted me.
The actors were lovely. I wanted to go on stage and have a drink with them. The tone of a long-lasting friendship was really set from the start.
Overall? I think it’s a good piece of theatre. Worth seeing for the actors and the job they do. I think with more work after this production, it could be a great piece of theatre.