Theatre in London

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The Colony of Unrequited Dreams

Reviewed by , March 25, 2017

Nothing Unrequited Here – Love for a “Rock”-Solid Production

With all due respects to Mr. Telford—who did an admirable job back in the day in my gifted history program—if only all Canadian history was this dynamic and entertaining, we’d have a nation that truly appreciates the richness, diversity, and—yes—intrigue of our national past. Fortunately, we have productions like Artistic Fraud’s The Colony of Unrequited Dreams to bring our past—both real and imagined—to vivid and entertaining life.

Ostensibly, the play is the story of Joseph Smallwood, the self-proclaimed Last …

Art

Reviewed by , February 24, 2017

Art: From a Blank Canvas Springs a Multi-Hued, Multi-Layered Delight

Art is, on the surface, the story of a trio of friends who are forced to re-evaluate their beliefs, their actions, and the very foundation of their friendship, precipitated by one character’s purchase of a white-on-white painting. But despite the monochromatic nature of the catalyst, the play is one imbued with rich hues of colour and texture, thanks to a combination of flawless performances, and deft direction and lighting.

The stage itself is minimalist by design. The three actors interact on a starkly adorned set: a couple …

Cherry Docs

Reviewed by , February 16, 2017

Ninety minutes is not a lot of time to unpack the motivations behind racism, the challenges of balancing social responsibility with personal beliefs, and exploring personal growth and understanding. And though the Procunier Hall venue should serve as an ideal setting for such a study of intimate emotions, Cherry Docs suffers from a superficiality that’s magnified by acting, directorial, and set-related challenges.

Cherry Docs is the story of Danny (Kyle Stewart), a liberal Jewish lawyer assigned to be the legal aid representation of skinhead Mike (Derek Barr) who has confessed to the …

Entering Eight Worlds a Night: PlayWrights Cabaret 2017

By , January 18, 2017

Jeff Culbert and Carolyn Nesbitt-Larking

When the lights go down on a theatre stage, an audience knows they are going to be transported into a world for a few hours.

That’s the norm.

This weekend, however, those sitting in the McManus Theatre will be transported into 8 different worlds each night.

Eight stories per evening, eight different playwrights, two directors and a handful of actors will transfix audiences ten minutes at a time.

The annual PlayWrights Cabaret was the brainchild of former Grand Artistic Director Susan Ferley and has proven to be a gateway for fledgling playwrights into the world of theatre.

This year for example, London’s Carolyn Nesbitt-Larking makes her playwriting bow with Johannah, a play about the last ten minutes of Johannah (“Black”) Donnelly’s life.

Set in …

Jenny’s House of Joy

Reviewed by , January 14, 2017

Prostitution may be the world’s oldest profession, but it’s also one with its own ideas of propriety, ambition and politics. This play is an enjoyable exploration of that kind of life, a comic tale with a refreshingly non-judgmental tone laced with a genuine humanity.

In the Old West, Jenny (Colleen McGeough) runs a successful brothel with the naively socially ambitious Anita (Bronwyn Wilson) and the hard bitten Frances (Charlene McNabb) as her employees. Suddenly, the refined and desperate Natalie (Kaitlyn Rietdyk) comes pleading for a job and proves, after some adjustment, to be surprisingly talented …