Annabel Soutar’s documentary play, Seeds, plants dissention. Scientists, researchers, industry representatives, advocacy groups and farmers argue the safety of genetically modified organisms, commonly called GMO’s. Through verbatim trial transcripts, interviews and speeches Soutar crafts a powerful mine field of what if’s.Though obviously attempting to appear unbiased, Soutar’s script weighs heavily on the side of banning GMO’s. And the production, at the Blyth Theatre, is at its most powerful and poignant when the playwright strips away her attempts at being objective and presents her true feelings no holds barred. Photo courtesy of Terry Manza
Review by Judith Robinson
The Shaw Festival’s production of Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea is sheer perfection. The backstage elements, the direction, and the acting combine to create an otherworldly, enchanting experience. This is not typical Ibsen. Although there is the usual strong female protagonist who struggles against the conventions of middle class morality, as in The Doll’s House and Hedda Gabler, this play goes deeper. The added mythological dimensions, the heightened poetic language, and the ever present pulse of nature overpower the domestic storyline. Photo courtesy of Shaw’s David Cooper
After a three-year hiatus, the editorial staff of ONTARIO ARTS REVIEW has decided to conclude its boycott, citing a positive change in the Fringe’s Directors. Every Festival demands only the highest level of professional attitude.
A THOUSAND NATURAL SHOCKS Hamilton Theatre Inc.
NYC- ‘Garner; Ferguson- Brown; LA- Ford; CLEVELAND- Rice; MADISON- Robinson, all recent front-page headlines about Police shootings, even Toronto had one on the TTC. But the follow-ups about what really happened or the effect on the officer usually end up buried in section two – BTF. Writer/producer Bryan Boodhoo and director Luis Arrojo scrutinize and explore the emotional effect on said police officer. More…
Director Peter Hinton’s skillful weaving of modern trends among the classical themes in the Shaw Festival’s production of Pygmalion, grabs the audience’s attention right from the start. The atmosphere is foreboding, contemporary, and prophetic. By placing the action in present day London, this production takes the emphasis away from the sexism of Henry Higgins, played by Patrick McManus, to focus on the modern generation of unemployed youth among out of touch elites. The focal point is on the class struggle–even more pronounced than it was in 1912. Photo by Emily Cooper
Review By Judith Robinson
Some cages are gilded with gold. But no one wants to be trapped for too long, according to playwright, J.M. Barrie, in The Ten Pound Look. Barrie, the author of ‘Peter Pan’, was an apparent champion of women’s rights. It certainly appears so in this 1910 comedic drama that focuses on the hard fought freedom of a wealthy man’s wife. With the price of a portable typewriter (ten pounds), Moya O’Connell, as Kate, has managed to escape from her dictatorial husband, Sir Harry Sims, played by Patrick Galligan. Photo by David Cooper
Review By Judith Robinson
When Pope Joan, powerfully played by Claire Jullien, in Shaw Festival’s production of ‘TOP GIRLS’ tells her tragic tale of being dragged off by the heels and stoned to death, the audience hardly took a breath. It was the most poignant moment in the play. No one moved as Jullien talked about unexpectedly giving birth on horseback during a religious pageant and exposing herself as that unacceptable human form—female. Although the production is filled with passionate, desperate moments, nothing could compare to that alleged heart-wrenching tragedy from the 9th century,