I just got out of seeing The Middle Place.
Wow. What a great piece of theatre.
I was a bit prejudiced, because it’s done in a production style I personally love. Fantastic actors, simple (heck, here it was Spartan) set, and light and sound cues only where needed to help create the environment.
And what an environment. Based on a homeless youth shelter in the Rexdale area of Toronto. (Think some fairly high crime spot with gangs in your nearest city, and you’ll get the idea.) The work came out of 450 pages worth of interviews with the youth there, distilled down to a 50 page play.
I was just blown away. The way the multiple characters were brought to life, the way their lifestyle was made clear, the thread of courage against overwhelming adversities…like they said in the play, being homeless could happen to anyone.
Just a wonderful production about humans growing up in not the best of circumstances and dealing with it. A simple sentence to write, but it only scratches the depth in this show. Go see it, unless you’re at the point where you need to see exploding helicopters ejecting a singing Batman into an orchestra pit of moshing zombies before you can truly enjoy a show. In which case, God help you.
As seen at Harbourfront Enwave Theatre.
I don’t have the same language to describe dance/movement pieces as I do for a theatre or clown piece. Having said that, I really enjoyed this show. It tries to answer the question of what would have happened if two famous Victorian showmen/performers had met, and tries to answer it through (mostly) dance and (some) text.
What I did get from the performance is that the two performers are tremendously skilled dancers, and that they have an infectious energy which is often humourous.
Really an awesome piece of work, and even if you generally don’t like dance (like I don’t), you should go see this show, because it’s on for a very short run.
Posting this as a favour to a colleague. She’s not running it, but is involved as a participant.
Check out http://j.mp/doBozI and be in “The River Peace” project.
“Theatre is life, film is art, television is furniture”. An oldie but a goodie.
TV is reality shows, film is 3-D piranhas and Yogi Bear. That leaves theatre taking up the slack.
You have to believe that people still want to see honesty and truth on stage, or you might as well give up completely. Fortunately, I still believe that. Because if you’re not showing that, you’re doing a high school performance where everyone is concerned about how they look and whether they’re going to get laid after the cast goes out for drinks.
Just saw a play (part of the Short Play Festival) at Bad Dog Theatre. Brought back pleasant memories of my own production at the previous Short Play Festival there.
Brought into sharp focus how my approach to life has been skewed in the wrong direction. Well, I have two weeks to start making some changes.
A breath of fresh air.
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.