The Madwoman of Chaillot at UVic Phoenix. Nov 9-25 2017. A review.

The Madwoman of Chaillot at UVic Phoenix. Nov 9-25 2017. A review. The latest University of Victoria Phoenix Theatre production--Giraudoux’s The Madwoman of Chaillot November 9-25, 2017--is grandiose--huge in scale and extremely physical, playing on the edges with hints of the absurd, and yet, the dialogue sends shivers down the spine with its prescience and modernity. Giraudoux wrote the play during the Nazi occupation of France and did … [Read more...]

Blue Bridge presents War of the Worlds October 30/31 2017. A preview.

Blue Bridge presents War of the Worlds October 30/31 2017. A preview. At a time when “old media”—television, radio and print—is engaged in what some deem a to-the-death struggle with “new media”, Orson Welles’ adaptation of HG Wells’ classic science fiction tale War of the Worlds could not be more relevant, according to Brian Richmond, artistic director of Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre.  The company is staging War of the Worlds on Hallowe’en … [Read more...]

Onegin by Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille Belfry Theatre October 17-November 12 2017. A review.

Onegin by Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille Belfry Theatre October 17-November 12 2017. A review. As rich and luxurious as the plush red velvet curtains draping the stage, Onegin, book, music and lyrics  by Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille, based on Pushkin’s revered novel-in-verse and Tchaikovsky’s opera, is a marvel of complexity—replete with glorious costumes (Jacqueline Firkins and Alaia Hamer), inspired gypsy-jazz-Eastern European choreography … [Read more...]

Red Death by Launch Pad Theatre at Craigdarroch Castle October 17-31, 2017. A review.

Red Death by Launch Pad Theatre at Craigdarroch Castle October 17-31, 2017. A review. Those cool cats at The Castle are hiding a grim secret. Try as they might to pretend everything is “groovy”, all is not well. Doom hangs in the air and seeps into nooks and crevices. Diana Nielsen and Christina Patterson. Photo: Derek Ford The wild and hyper lord of the manor, David Radford glad hands invited guests. Disco tunes fill the air with familiar … [Read more...]

A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline by Little Bowes Street Collective October 21-29, 2017. A preview.

A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline by Little Bowes Street Collective October 21-29, 2017. A preview. One of Victoria’s newest theatre companies, Little Bowes’ Street Collective brings A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline to the Teechamitsa Theatre at Royal Bay Secondary October 20/21 and to the CCPA Performance Hall October 27/28/29.  I spoke with co-founders Melissa Young (director of the show) and Alison MacDonald (who performs the role of Patsy … [Read more...]

West a Double Bill of BC Trailblazers at UVic Phoenix October 12-21, 2017. A review.

West a Double Bill of BC Trailblazers at UVic Phoenix October 12-21, 2017. A review. Harken back to a time before radio and television, when storytellers had only the power of words to entertain—no electricity, no technological gizmos, no extra sound—words, pacing, inflection and physical presence were all that were required to seize people’s attention and keep it for hours, even days. Danette Boucher and James Douglas In West: a double … [Read more...]

The Old Curiosity Shop presented by Company C October 19-22, 2017. An interview.

The Old Curiosity Shop presented by Company C October 19-22, 2017. An interview. The largest Company C cohort ever—sixteen students--takes the stage October 19-21st at the CCPA Performance Hall in Simon Webb’s adaptation of Charles Dickens The Old Curiosity Shop. Founded in 2005 to offer a third year repertory program to graduates of the Canadian College of Performing Arts, Company C provides these emerging artists with opportunities to not … [Read more...]

Girl in the Goldfish Bowl at Langham Court Theatre September 25-October 14 2017. A review.

Girl in the Goldfish Bowl at Langham Court Theatre September 25-October 14 2017. A review. Iris (Lianne Coates) joins a long line of stellar heroines (Ramona and Harriet among them), young girls with spunk and gumption, trying to get to the bottom of things, with the unique, and often skewed, perspective of a child. The entire world is topsy-turvy—externally, relations between the US and Cuba teeter on the brink, internally, Iris’ parents … [Read more...]

Antigone by William Head on Stage October 6-November 4, 2017. An interview.

Antigone by William Head on Stage October 6-November 4, 2017. An interview. Since 1981, the inmates of William Head Institution in Metchosin have mounted theatrical presentations open to the public.  Antigone is their 57th.  William Head on Stage (WHoS) is now the only inmate-run theatre company in Canada. VW, the current managing director of William Head on Stage, answered a series of questions about their sci-fi remount of the ancient … [Read more...]

The Good Soldier Schweik at Theatre Inconnu September 26-October 14, 2017. A review.

The Good Soldier Schweik at Theatre Inconnu September 27-October 14 2017.  A review. Theatre Inconnu brings the Czech anti-war novel The Good Soldier Schweik to the stage in an adaptation by Michael John Nimchuk that owes much to the epic theatre theories of Bertolt Brecht. Poor Schweik (Justin Muirhead) is a hapless dolt caught up in the hubris surrounding Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination. One moment he’s jazzing with his buddies at the … [Read more...]