Culture & Conversation

Seeing is believing

Every once in a while one is privileged to see a small one person show that is so good it revives one’s faith in the possibility of theatre and all of its magic. Me Myself and Eye was such a show. The writing is impeccable the performance heart breaking, funny and enlightening, and all of this happened in a tiny space; the mini Mainline theatre.

Slow awakening

There were moments in this play that were truly wonderful and transcendent. When Kristina Sandev enacts her girlish relationship with her father, her childlike moments on stage are stunning. Likewise, Deepali LIndblon, gives a magical performance as a young woman who has been sold into prostitution by her own mother.

Howling to be heard

“Back along the road again, I swear we’ve been here before,” laments Chelsea native Jake Watson on “Those Were the Days,” and for a moment there you almost believe him. I mean, let’s face it. The current landscape of alternative folk is getting rapidly overcrowded. While increasingly crossing over with more mainstream sounds, the overall feeling is that the scene is somewhat diluting itself. Yet before this popular subgenre eventually slows down, Montreal outfit Wind & the Wild make a damn good case at its sustainability with their eponymously-named sophomore effort.

Be mine

Her is the strangest confluence of films. On the one hand, it is a science fiction film that predicts the arrival of hyper-intelligent AI operating systems. On the other hand, it is a film that is paradoxically rooted in human emotions and the deeper core of our inner selves.

Other Side of The Falls

Craig Davidson’s third novel, the gritty Cataract City, deserves all the praise it has received since its release last summer, including a short-list nomination for the…

Unexploded ordinance

As I was leaving the theatre, my young companion said, “If you hadn’t told me that there was an explosion, I would never have known.” This is a play about the horrific 1984 Union Carbide chemical explosion in Bhopal, India. The deaths (2500 directly caused by the explosion and up to 8000 in the subsequent two weeks) and the lingering consequences of chemical exposure cannot even be imagined in this country. Exacerbated by Bhopal’s extreme poverty, it is also worth remembering for the callousness of the company that caused it.

pique2

Dealing Quebec a bad hand?

It was opening night of Robert Lepage’s Pique and streams of us were walking towards the place as if to Mordor. Lepage, the dark master of Quebec theatre, couldn’t have asked for a better entrance.

Quick, quick, slow

In Woody Allen’s Love and Death, Sonja (alive) asks Boris (recently dead) what Death is like? ”You know the chicken at Tesky’s restaurant? It’s worse.” Death, in the Tokyo-based Ryuzani company’s Hanafuda Denki, seems a parallel universe of Life, replete with card games, arranged marriages, and show stopping music (18 songs!) and dance. A lot better than Tesky’s chicken.

It’s a zoo at home

How does Edward Albee write? I will tell you how he writes. This is how he writes. How he writes is this… Lots of reps in a strangely hypnotic pattern that identifies his work from American Dream to Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Wide open for Iceland and Blue Box

Iceland is a deconstructed story told by the three main participants on a bare stage with just chairs. Christine Horne gives a haunting performance as an Estonian college student who has had to find new and horrible ways to supplement her income. She is devastatingly brilliant in her performance and barely moves. The audience is totally captured by her slightly accented English narrative, and her charming demand to be helped with words that have momentarily escaped her.

Gone global

We were waiting at the Kenyan border for visas to Tanzania, a line-up of foreigners restless and anxious to get back on the overcrowded vans that would forward us to the next adventure. As happens in such situations, strangers began talking to strangers, and suddenly the subject was Rob Ford.