Review: Political Mother (Canadian Stage)

Hofesh Shecter’s Political Mother playing at Toronto’s Bluma Appel Theatre will blow your mind and your senses

I find that the more l like a show the harder it is to write about it. There’s always that little nagging feeling where I hope I was able to express everything I saw and felt. Political Mother was that show for me.

Hofesh Shecter’s Political Mother is probably the most original piece of theatre I have ever seen. It is rock concert colliding with musical theatre to create a wonderfully raw and dark explosion.

The stage is built in levels which makes for a very cool backdrop. The dancing happens on ground level and one level higher are the drummers and above them are the guitarists and the singer. The best part was that you didn’t always see the musicians on stage and almost forgot they were there and then suddenly the lights would come on and there they were in the former pitch darkness. The lighting in this show is impeccable.

The dancers are phenomenal. There is so much energy on stage and you can feel every ounce of it. The rage, the anger, the passion, the love; it all comes through in the movements onstage. There is so much angst, struggle and pressure that comes through these dancers bodies.

The choreography and music are mind-blowing in this piece. I was reading the notes before the show and he says that it is hard for him to define the separation between the music and the dance and that is so apparent in the show. It’s like the music and the dance are one, I couldn’t imagine one exisiting without the other and you can see an evolution in the movements that is so natural and cathartic.

There is so much darkness in this show but when it ends I felt a lightness, a freedom. I felt so much while watching this show. There was a whirlwind of emotions inside of me. This is the best kind of show where there are no words (trust me, usually not my thing) and you are just allowed to feel and to experience. No one is telling you what to think, it’s like looking at an abstract painting, you can make of it what you like.

My show partner and I loved the show so much that we were in awe when it ended. We had spent the last 70 minutes sitting at the edge of our seats. Unfortunately a portion of the over 50 audience didn’t feel the same. The woman next to me kept sighing out loud every time she realized that the show hadn’t ended and a couple of people even left. After the show I ran into fellow MoT writer, Heather Bellingham, and she said the woman next to her kept asking her partner to leave but didn’t, so Heather who thought the show was incredible had to listen to this banter instead.

The people in the audience that did love it more than made up for the people who didn’t. It was slow to start but the show did end with a standing ovation and deafening cheering. Exactly what this show deserves. It’s a very short run so make sure you get a chance to experience this show before it’s gone!

Political Mother is playing at the Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front St E) till October 28, 2012
– Performances run Oct 26 at 8pm; Oct 27 at 2pm & 8pm; Oct 28 at 2pm
– Tickets range from $24 to $79
– Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 416.368.3110 or at the door

Photo of Winifred Burnet-Smith, Christopher Evans, Bruno Guillore by Tom Medwell.