The Double is a powerhouse performance by two actors and the bassist of Protest The Hero at Toronto’s Factory Theatre
Combining the extraordinary talents of two actors and one musician, The Double is a unique tale of one man’s struggle with his own personal identity and neurosis. Produced by the Dora Award-winning company TheatreRun, and based on an original adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novella, this highly impressive display of physical theatre is worth seeing even a second time.
Set in the intimate setting of Factory Theatre’s studio, the story opens with the charming narrator holding his upright bass, a unique instrument in itself. Played by Arif Mirabdolbaghi, an already young and well-established musician from Protest The Hero, the bass also acts as a female character, known to the audience as Clara.
As the story unfolds, we meet Mr. Golyadkin, played by the multi-talented Adam Paolozza, also the director and creator of the show. The opening scene in which Mr. Golyadkin creates the illusion of walking forward on stage, with effective lighting above, was just a taste of what the audience was going to be in for.
Adam Paolozza, clearly accomplished in the art of miming, was absolutely phenomenal in the role of Mr. Golyadkin. We feel his torment from the beginning right up until his downward spiral. At times heroic, at other times spineless, Paolozza creates for us in Mr. Golyadkin a very human character.
Co-performer Viktor Lukawski was just as brilliant. With his impeccable timing and delivery, Lukawski appears scene after scene transformed into various characters, each uniquely fashioned. His role as “doctor” had some of the most memorable moments. He and Paolozza had tremendous chemistry and the mastery of their crafts made for an engaging show from beginning to end.
The lighting design was highly effective, enhancing the various illusions on stage and adding to the jazzy and vaudeville-type atmosphere.
The set was simple, but who needs a set when you have masterful mime artists creating it all for you? This show was about the characters and its story, the interesting interplay between the music, and the remarkable acting performances.
This cast of three delivers a multi-disciplinary powerhouse performance. Deemed a dark, comedic satire, this world premiere of The Double, presented by TheatreRun, is one of the best pieces of theatre I’ve seen in while and definitely worth venturing out to see.
-Tickets cost $20 on Tuesday, $25 on Wednesday-Thursday and $28 on Friday and Saturdays with discounts available for students, seniors and groups. Pay What You Can on Sundays.
-More information is available at www.theatrerun.wordpress.com
Photo of Arif Mirabdolbaghi and Adam Paolozza taken by Lacey Creighton