No, this headline is not missing an “H” as in the famous novel/film involving brain washing, The Manchurian Candidate. Mancurians are the residents of Manchester, UK. This prize winning play, by talented Rover contributor Jim Burke, an émigré from Manchester, has a local slang that presents a new challenge to those of us who, having finally mastered Irish and Scottish inflections, have to master these. The colourful expressions in the play are explained in the glossary on the back of the program.
Viewers will not be confused by these interjections, however, as the show moves right along. The script is taut, the actors superb, the set appropriate, the direction clever.
Howard Rosenstein (fresh from Kafka’s Ape) is the heavy, a life time corner man to boxing exhibitions. Christopher Moore (hot off Oroonoko) is the younger apprentice, who “loves this job,” best he ever had.
The Infinitheatre’s retrofitted swimming pool (which hosted David Sherman’s 2011 Joe Louis) is a perfect setting. They already had the boxing ring (square?) and posts available.
Paul Van Dyck’s direction, it seemed to me, added even more subtle improvements to the Canadian premiere (same actors) he had helmed two years ago at the Theatre Ste. Catherine. Mr. Moore’s athleticism alone is worth the admission price.
In tone, you get a hint of Pinter’s impending outside menace, Mamet’s crudities and Hitchcock’s plot twists. Upon reflection, the cross purposes of the characters do relate, after all, to a sort of poor man’s version of brain washing, as with the MancHurians
Cornered continues at the until March 17
Bain St-Michel, 5300 St Dominique
514-987-1774 ext 104