Beaver Dreams (La Fièvre du Castor)

A schtick to sink your teeth into. Generation after generation. BEAVERS. Sharing the same land, the same lake, and the same nightmare depicting commercial development threatening their corner of paradise in the Laurentians, Quebec. Get wet at the best dam show!

May
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  1. 27
    1. 28
      1. 29
        1. 30
          1. 5:30 pm
            Beaver Dreams (La Fièvre du Castor)

            See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2018/05/beaver-dreams-la-fievre-du-castor/ for details.

            Location: McManus Stage

        2. 31
          June
          1. Sun
          2. Mon
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          1. 1
            1. 10:00 pm
              Beaver Dreams (La Fièvre du Castor)

              See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2018/05/beaver-dreams-la-fievre-du-castor/ for details.

              Location: McManus Stage

          2. 2
            1. 1:00 pm
              Beaver Dreams (La Fièvre du Castor)

              See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2018/05/beaver-dreams-la-fievre-du-castor/ for details.

              Location: McManus Stage

          3. 3
            1. 4
              1. 8:30 pm
                Beaver Dreams (La Fièvre du Castor)

                See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2018/05/beaver-dreams-la-fievre-du-castor/ for details.

                Location: McManus Stage

            2. 5
              1. 6
                1. 7
                  1. 7:00 pm
                    Beaver Dreams (La Fièvre du Castor)

                    See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2018/05/beaver-dreams-la-fievre-du-castor/ for details.

                    Location: McManus Stage

                2. 8
                  1. 5:00 pm
                    Beaver Dreams (La Fièvre du Castor)

                    See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2018/05/beaver-dreams-la-fievre-du-castor/ for details.

                    Location: McManus Stage

                3. 9

                  Location: McManus Stage

                  Cast

                  and

                  Artistic Credits

                  Direction:

                  6 thoughts on “Beaver Dreams (La Fièvre du Castor)”

                  1. Barry Brown
                    Reviewer
                    says:

                    In this wonderful bilingual production, Maggie Winston and Rae-Anna Maitland present the conflict between beavers and cottagers on a lake in the Laurentians from the point of view of the beavers. It is a consistently surprising and delightful production, full of imagination, creativity and humour.

                    The story—based on the experiences of Winston’s family (some of whom are heard in recorded interviews)—is acted out by Winston and Maitland in beaver suits. Using puppets, shadows and simple props, they convey the events with surprising effectiveness. Somehow they make their choice to use their fingers to represent the humans scurrying about as they try to combat the effects of the dam on the level of the lake seem both inevitable and perfect.

                    We get a glimpse into the domestic life of beavers (apparently their young enjoy bedtime stories), the horrors of clear cutting and the beavers’ sensual obsession with wood.

                    The story of the cyclical contest in which the humans destroy and the beavers rebuild the dam is engaging, but the wonder of the show comes from the imaginative production. It’s a show that makes you ask “Who ever thought this could work?” even as Winston and Maitland amaze you with how well it does.

                    The Fringe Festival is a place where we seek ingenuity, creativity and imagination. We want to be surprised and delighted by the unexpected. We want to see theatre that we could not find elsewhere. Beaver Dreams (La Fièvre du Castor) delivers all of that and more. It is astonishingly good.

                  2. Laurie Bursch
                    Reviewer
                    says:

                    Beaver Dreams (La Fièvre du Castor): Dammed if you don’t

                    Seems we all want the same things, whether we’re humans or beavers: a good life, in a beautiful place. In Beaver Dreams, both species share the same lake, the same trees… and the same nightmare. Put simply: development. But this means different things for our two subjects. We watch both in English and French – the beavers through the playful antics of performers Rae-Anna Maitland and Maggie Winston, aided by puppets of all kinds and some very clever props (watch out for the bees!); the human owners of a remote cottage are captured in similar ways, along with a lovely animation.

                    The show has an important, and thought-provoking message, but it’s delivered subtly, amongst a whole lot of charming silliness and playfulness. Maitland and Winston give us a beaver’s eye view, and share their story with the unbridled and infectious joy of two kids playing make-believe.

                    This show is a delight for ten-year-olds of all ages, and their outer adults. Beavers: they’re just like us. And these two are wonderful to spend an hour with.

                  3. Jay Ménard
                    Reviewer
                    says:

                    Silly Fun that You Can Really Sink Your Teeth Into

                    Beaver Dreams (La Fievre du Castor) is a wonderfully engaging production that combines puppetry, visuals, costumes, and humour to present a show that combines warmth, laughter, and gently delivers a message of environmentalism.

                    It’s not a preachy show by any means. The focus is on humour and an incredible array of brilliant visual elements. But, at the root of it, is a story that holds up a mirror to human’s desire to “own” pristine pieces of the environment (and keep others — and development — at bay), with that of the wilderness who already call these places home.

                    The show follows the story of one family’s personal oasis in the woods. The family is that of Lost & Found Puppet Co.’s Maggie Winston, and she combines actual interviews with generations of family members who share their stories of spending time in the Laurentians at their pristine cottage by the lake.

                    The other half of this story is a beaver family, who predates Winston’s family. And what ensures is a battle of sorts — the annual back-and-forth between beavers being beavers, building dams and lodges, and the family destroying one dam to lower the lake level and allow for personal use.

                    Amongst all of this, there’s the threat of industrialization — the approach of more development and people. Whether the beavers know it or not, they and the family are on the same side.

                    That’s the “serious” foundation of the story, but its presentation is absolutely charming, hilarious, and heartwarming. Winston and Rae-Anna Maitland appear in full beaver costume to tell the story, but they also deftly manipulate a variety of puppets, projections, and animation. It’s a visual feast of entertainment that was beloved by youth and adults alike. And the show is trilingual (English, French, and Beavery gibberish) and it’s delightful to see the interplay of languages at work.

                    It’s a family friendly show, but it somehow manages to straddle that line so it’s not skewed one way or the other. There’s a lot of visual humour that the kids will appreciate, and there are a number of jokes, asides, and visual elements that the adults will appreciate.

                    Even mistakes are warmly embraced and deftly handled — is there a beaver equivalent for PoliGrip? The duo’s ability to go with the flow, integrate the audience, and manipulate several moving parts without it ever seeming forced or awkward is a testament to their talent as performers and storytellers.

                    The actual translation of the show’s French title is Beaver Fever — and it’s certainly well worth catching!

                    ****

                    1. Ken Frankel says:

                      Hi, I am one of the narrators of this terrific show. I just want to correct one comment. We have been there since 1935. The beavers didn’t show up until about 1960, so humans are aboriginal to the place. And no matter how often we tear down the dam to keep the lake level reasonable, they have it built up in the Fall to provide for themselves in winter, which is its purpose. So they win every time! Reasonably peaceful co-existence you might say!

                      1. Maggie Winston says:

                        Thanks Ken…you’re so on it with the development of this story

                  4. Alison Brown
                    Reviewer
                    says:

                    Beaver Fever! AN ALL- AGES SHOW!

                    I saw this production last night and I have to say BRAVO to the performers, Maggie Winston and Rae-Anna Maitland. All has been said by the previous reviewers about the engaging way they tell the story about the conflict of man against nature with their inventive puppetry, set, lighting, costumes, including two great sets of beaver-sized choppers. They just might change your mind about beavers. And if you are wondering which shows are appropriate for your children or your grandma, this is the one! A thoroughly engaging and entertaining show for all ages. Just two more shows: Thursday June 7 at 7:00 and Friday June 8 at 5 at the McManus.

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