Reviews

  • I wish I'd had a chance to see this show earlier in the festival so I could have told everyone I know to see it, although I looked them up and it looks like they're touring the show, so check out http://ryanmellors.wix.com/newconformity for future dates.

    I had heard one of the performers describe the show during a flyering on graville island as “juggling as you've never seen it before”. He wasn't kidding. I would describe The New Conformity as something of a hybrid between juggling, dance and stunt choreography.

    With a thought provoking narrative, social...

  • HUMANbeing is a sweet, poetic piece about a celestial being who decides to make the Earth its home.

    Enchanting and great for kids, this simple story lacks pretension, weaving fart jokes, whimsy and wonder together into an innocent tapestry.

    The opening images were the strongest. Live music in the dark and great use of practical lighting. I would have like to have seen even more of that creative atmosphere throughout the show.

    Performers and co-creators Sarah Roa and Andrea Ashton's strength and full commitment carry the show. There were moments where Roa's heavy breathing and larger than life children's theatre voice felt a little pushed....

  • Kitimat – Mostly Exposition

    I love staged readings, they're pure. Just the words and the actors and the audience. No distractions or fancy staging, no pomp and circumstance. Staged readings really let you see a play bare, stripped of all pretension. 

    Kitimat by Elaine Avila is about the aforementioned town's reaction to a proposed pipeline. It reads more like a dramatized debate than a story. An argument based on pathos without facts, or detailed anecdotes to support it. 

    There are some beautiful human moments in the flash backs where we...

  • Forget About Tomorrow is a play in progress by "Advance Theatre: New Works by Women", directed by Pam Johnson and written by Jill Daum.

    The humble little venue at the False Creek Community Centre was packed for this show. In line, I estimated a hundred of people ahead of me. I think I was among the last to get a seat.

    False Creek Gym seems to attract meditations on neurology. Last year, it was the stage of Clutter and Contamination...

  • Trialogue is written by Carolyn Nakagawa and directed by Marisa Smith.

    Nneka Croal, Leslie Dos Remedios and Claire Hesselgrave are reading the parts to an engaged trialogue. The piece in progress was beautifully read and acted by the three women.

    Take an old story, break it open, and see what comes out. The three women embody fragments of a myth. What does it mean to tell a story, to tell a story while being a woman, to appear before and...

  • By Colleen Ann Fee
    Directed by Tammy Bentz
    After Love, Life is a play in progress by Advance Theatre: New Works by Women.

    Birgit:
    The title instantly attracted me. I am just starting to live after years of paralysis after the end of a 25-year marriage. But this play was not about this kind of loss at all. It addressed only the grief of losing a spouse to death. But that was covered thoroughly. How many ways can you lose the love of your life? Natural causes like heart attack or old age, natural disasters, accidents or suicide (or...

  • 27 Voices is a work in progress written by S.M. Hunter and directed by Quelemia Sparrow was read by :
    Sam Bob, Jennifer Brousseau, Nyla Carpentier, Madeleine McCallum, Joel Montgrand, Melissa Oei, Shyama Priya, Varya Rubin, Donna Soares, Tsawaysia Spakwus. 

    There were ten readers, but no identity was given to any of them. I was looking for characters and 27 different distinct voices with their own stories. I heard out some voices speaking about a still birth in the bath tub, kneecaps in pig manure, pimps and pain, yearnings for love, rape, menstruation blood, and labour pain. But there was no...

  • I like travelling. I like storytelling. I also like music. So I expected Daniel Morton’s play, The Traveller, would be just my cup of tea. Regrettably, it was not. 

    The stage felt cluttered and cramped, restricting actor-musician Max Kashetsky’s movements in this one-man show. The script repeatedly promised deeper meaning – some striking message that would turn my idea of life and travel on its head – but I’m sorry to admit the only message I got out of the experience was simple and cliché: death reaffirms life. Either I really missed something or the play’s script is too inarticulate to express...

  • The Fighting Season features strong acting and writing. It is also an intense, heavy drama that may haunt you long after you leave the theatre- not unlike the characters returning from Afghanistan. I usually avoid movies and theatre about war, no matter how well done they are. And this is done well. If you can handle the content, this is definitely one to catch. It is also enlightening. I have no idea how they did it, but somehow the Canadian Forces Health Services group at Kandahar Airfield Base Role 3 Hospital maintained a 97% success (patient survival) rate. For that,...

  • From the moment Jem Rolls steps onstage, the audience is bombarded by information. Facts. Anecdotes. Creative interpretations and rephrasings. I was stunned into inaction for a few minutes before finally remembering that I was writing a review and that this would be worth writing down.

    He tells the story of Leo Szilard, a physicist of the early twentieth century whom he asserts was the first to conceive of nuclear fission. Brilliant, abrasive, and inexhaustible, he built a circle of key friends in physics simply by introducing himself to anyone he thought important enough to talk to. Instrumental at the...

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