Review by Dr. Sharon Letovsky
An interesting and very unique production, “Creation” gives audiences a perspective on how plays were performed in England from the 10th to 16th century. It is a step back in time with a contemporary twist and quite a few laughs thrown in for good measure. With the book of Genesis from the Old Testament as inspiration, author Peter Anderson re-investigates the “Mystery Play”, a form that brought biblical stories from the confines of the church to the popular community marketplace through pageantry and song. These plays were an essential part of the evolution of theatre as we know it.
Performed in the round by ten equally highly talented members of the NAC English Theatre Company, “Creation” is interesting and entertaining; a treat for those who enjoy good theatre. This reviewer has only one caveat: do not see this play when you are tired.
Creation is the kind of theatre that Shakespeare would have seen as a boy, boldly juxtaposing sacred and profane in playful verse with rhyming couplets and accompanying antiphonal song. What this essentially means is that audiences have to concentrate. When the first actor, Mary-Colin Chisholm, appeared playing God, our ears, unsuspecting and perhaps tired from a long day, were hit with a barrage of rhyming couplets with double meanings that we found difficult to grasp. The body’s response to being overwhelmed, unfortunately, can be to shut down, and my companion and I at first had difficulty keeping ourselves awake.
Whether it was the entrance of actor Joey Tremblay doing a fantastic and hilarious job playing a donkey, or simply our having become accustomed to the amount of concentration required, we found the latter 45 minutes of the play most enjoyable. So from this critic’s perspective, get a good sleep the night before; put yourself in the mindset of Shakespeare with a modern, amusing twist; think about what is important in life, and you will have yourselves a very enjoyable time.
Creation is playing at the NAC Studio Theatre in Ottawa until February 20th.