All posts by Madeleine Copp

Madeleine Copp saw her first show when she was four years old and it was love at first sight. She pursued a bachelor’s in theatre production and design and English literature, culminating in a love for flexible, innovative, and diverse theatre artists that challenge all our preconceived notions of the stage. Her thesis, Printed Voices: Women, Print, and Performance pushed for new interpretations of closet drama from the early modern to modern period in the hopes of seeing more female playwrights included in the performance canon. Since graduating, Madeleine continues to seek out unexpected, startling, and challenging works that leave her angry, speechless, and wonderfully confused.

Review: Measure for Measure (Shakespeare BASH’d)

Photo Sochi Friend in Measure for MeasureMeasure for Measure doesn’t break molds but delivers stellar performances, playing in Toronto

If a company attempts to reinterpret a text as more progressive than it is, does the play overcome its era?

Shakespeare BASH’d‘s Measure for Measure playing at the Junction City Music Hall might not rewrite the history books but it offers its own rewards for the audience.

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Review: Picnic in the Cemetery (Folga Gaang Project and Canadian Stage)

Photo of Picnic in the CemeteryPicnic in the Cemetery is beautiful but lacks cohesion, at the Berkeley Theatre in Toronto

I don’t think I’ve ever left a show quite as confused as I did walking out of Folga Gaang Project’s Picnic in the Cemetery presented in association with Canadian Stage at the Berkeley Street Upstairs Theatre.

Despite excellent parts, Picnic in the Cemetery feels it should be better than it actually is. Moreover, as an audience member, I feel like I should have liked it better than I did. It’s a show where all the excellent smothers what’s actually good.

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Review: Le Menteur (Théâtre Français de Toronto)

Photo of Le MenteurThéâtre français de Toronto’s new play Le Menteur is a fast-paced, hilarious romp

There’s lying and then there’s lying. Théâtre français de Toronto‘s Le Menteur playing at the Berkeley Street Theatre gives a tongue-in-cheek lesson to its audience on how to spin a tale.

And if you want a fun time at the theatre, this is one lesson I guarantee you’ll want to see for yourselves.

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Review: What A Young Wife Ought to Know (2B theatre company and Crow’s Theatre)

Photo of What a Young Wife Ought to KnowA dark comedy of a woman’s life pre birth control, on stage at Streetcar Crowsnest in Toronto

There is no love lost for the past’s treatment of women’s bodily autonomy in 2b theatre company’s What a Young Wife Ought to Know playing at the Streetcar Crowsnest. Things are better now, if not perfect, and we’d do well to try and keep it that way.

At least, that’s how my guest and I felt leaving the theatre. We were haunted, terrified, and struck by just how important it was to hear this specific story in this day and age.

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Review: Le Dire de Di (Théatre Français and Théatre la Catapulte)

Photo of Marie-Eve Fontaine in Le Dire de DiThéatre Français and Théatre la Catapulte presents Le Dire de Di playing in Toronto

It’s not about what you remember or why you remember, in Théatre Français and Théatre la Catapulte‘s Le Dire de Di playing at the Berkeley Street Theatre, it’s the weight of those memories that make them real.

Taking a poetic journey into nature, society, and science, Le Dire de Di finds itself bogged down by words despite an incredible performance.

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Review: Hamlet (Tarragon Theatre)

Photo of Hamlet ensembleTarragon Theatre delivers Shakespeare’s classic Hamlet through a rock n’ roll lens in Toronto

There is something to be said on whether or not the type of music integrated into a show can help reimagine a well-known story. Tarragon Theatre’s Hamlet applies a rock and roll ‘lens’ to a familiar tale.

The results don’t rewrite the book, but when a production’s this good, it’s hard to argue.

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2018 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: The Surprise (Christel Bartelse/DutchGirl Productions)

Photo of Christel BartelseThe problem with a surprise is that you never know whether it’s going to be good or bad. Christel Bartelse/Dutchgirl Productions’s The Surprise playing at the Factory Theatre Ante-chamber as part of the 2018 Next Stage Theatre Festival capitalizes on the unpredictable as the audience tries to help throw a surprise party for Ginger (Christel Bartelse).

 

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2018 Next Stage Festival Review: That “F” Word (SaMel Tanz)

Photo of Melissa Hart and Samantha Schleese

There is an unsurprisingly apt description of feminism in SaMel Tanz’s That “F” Word playing at the Factory Theatre Mainspace as part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival. A series of expertly choreographed dances informed by questions of femininity, society, race, body image, and gender roles uses words sparingly, preferring the twist of bodies to try and examine that insurmountable word: feminism.

While hitting the mark technically, with wonderful sequences, it’s the show’s on-the-nose interpretation of the issue it seeks to explore that might be its biggest weakness or biggest strength.

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Review: Unholy (Nightwood Theatre)

Photo of Diane Flacks and Bahareh YaraghiToronto playwright Diane Flacks examines the intersection of women and religion in her play Unholy

I think most people have had that one dinner where they’re told: whatever you do, don’t mention religion. Nightwood Theatre’s Unholy playing at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is that dinner—except imagine that dinner is televised and there are no consequences for letting your opinions fly.

It’s exactly as intense, exciting, and hilarious as it sounds.

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Review: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Young People’s Theatre)

Photo of Beauty and the BeastYPT’s Beauty and the Beast is a hit with kids but misses the mark with some adults, on stage in Toronto

It’s not every day you get the opportunity to go to the theatre and let yourself be a kid. Attending Young People’s Theatre‘s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast playing at the Young People’s Theatre mainstage was a chance to revisit enchanted castles, fun music, and a little bit of romance.

Of course, I know when I sat down that its an ambitious project. Think about it: how many kids in that audience were familiar with the Disney movie? Live-action or animated, if you put on a Disney show it should do one of two things: either embrace its roots or deliver something unexpected.

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