All posts by Dorianne Emmerton

Dorianne is a graduate of the Theatre and Drama Studies joint program between University of Toronto, Erindale campus and Sheridan College. She writes short stories, plays and screenplays and was delighted to be accepted into the 2010 Diaspora Dialogues program and also to have her short story accepted into the 2011 edition of TOK: Writing The New Toronto collection. She is also a regularly contributing writer on http://www.sexlifecanada.ca. You can follow her on twitter @headonist if you like tweets about cats, sex, food, queer stuff and lefty politics.

Review: Fernando Krapp Wrote Me This Letter: An Attempt at the Truth (Canadian Stage)

by Dorianne Emmerton

Fernando Krapp Wrote Me This Letter: An Attempt at the Truth is playing at the Bluma Appel location of Canadian Stage. It’s their first show under the artistic direction of Matthew Jocelyn, who also translated and directed this show.

Jocelyn has announced a new mandate for Canadian Stage, which involves unconventional contemporary theatre. As the press release states they want to be “at the vanguard of contemporary theatre” and “question, challenge move and entertain not only with the tales they tell but with the way they tell them.”

Fernando Krapp is definitely an unconventional show: I have certainly never seen anything like it at the theatre formerly known as Canstage. Written by the German Tankred Dorst, the characters are allegorical clowns, who play out a fable about how love interacts with power.

Continue reading Review: Fernando Krapp Wrote Me This Letter: An Attempt at the Truth (Canadian Stage)

My Happy (Pyretic Productions) – 2010 Summerworks review

by Dorianne Emmerton

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In Pyretic Productions Me Happy a young woman named Biddy lives in a tiny remote town in Ireland called Muff. Muff’s only claim to fame is three large cliffs which provide a spectacular view, constant danger of falling to one’s death, and an ideal venue for cliff diving.

That’s right: diving in Muff. That’s the kind of humour at work in Me Happy. It’s no workout for brain, but on a rainy dreary Sunday I was quite happy to be entertained with some bathroom humour. Continue reading My Happy (Pyretic Productions) – 2010 Summerworks review

The Hanging of Françoise Laurent (Stranger Theatre) – 2010 Summerworks Review

by Dorianne Emmerton

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Stranger Theatre’s mandate is to tell stories inspired by history, literature and folklore using a variety of performance techniques. Their newest show,The Hanging of Françoise Laurent at Theatre Passe Muraille (Backspace) as part of Summerworks tells the true story of a Montreal maidservant sentenced to death for stealing a pair of her Madame’s gloves. The year is 1751 and according to the law of the time a woman could escape a death sentence if the hangman marries her.

Montreal does not have a hangman, as the old one has died and no one has stepped up to take the undesirable position. In order to take advantage of this law Françoise must convince the man in the cell next to her to take on the role of hangman and then to marry her. Continue reading The Hanging of Françoise Laurent (Stranger Theatre) – 2010 Summerworks Review

Loving the Stranger or how to recognize an invert – 2010 Summerworks Review

by Dorianne Emmerton

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A keyboard stands in a corner manned by a dapper fellow in white face and a bowler hat. In the other corner is what appears to be an armchair covered by an old paint-spattered drop cloth. Seated in it from the minute you enter the theatre is a pre-set old man. This is Loving the Stranger or how to recognize an invert by Ecce Homo Theatre.

Having seen him you expect the old man to begin the show, to speak once the house lights fade. Instead the musician in the other corner starts playing and a white-faced blond woman in a Nazi outfit, playing a child, starts to sing before setting off on a pro-fascist rant.

Brecht would probably be very pleased at how Ecce Homo is keeping his mode of theatre alive and vibrant. As long as he didn’t mind a whole lot of gay male content, at least. Continue reading Loving the Stranger or how to recognize an invert – 2010 Summerworks Review

Even Darkness is Made of Light – 2010 Summerworks Review

by Dorianne Emmerton

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Even Darkness is Made of Light (Not My Pig, Not My Farm Productions) is a one woman play about suicide. This sounds like my own personal theatre festival hell. Instead, this show was like a little bit of heaven.

Edwidge Jean-Pierre is a force of nature. It’s impossible not to pay her your full attention when she’s onstage playing Carrie, or any of the number of characters who interact with her. Besides Carrie she also plays Carrie’s love interest Carlos, her psychiatrist, her geography teacher, her sister and her school friends. Continue reading Even Darkness is Made of Light – 2010 Summerworks Review

Review: Bad Dog Theatre Short Play Festival

by Dorianne Emmerton

The Bad Dog Theatre Short Play Festival showcases original Canadian comedic short plays. Keep reading to find out more about the two shows Loose Connections and The Void.

Loose Connections (by Robin Pond)

Loose Connections is a set of sketch comedy scene played by three actors, Eric Turkienicz, Deanna Palazzo, and Skye Regan.

In the first scene a woman storms into a coffeeshop demanding to know what the secret conspiracy is to keep patrons returning to that same establishment every day. The angry woman had some very funny build up but unfortunately the punch line to the scene was lost the night I saw it. Continue reading Review: Bad Dog Theatre Short Play Festival

Review: Bad Dog Theatre Short Play Festival

by Dorianne Emmerton

The Bad Dog Theatre Short Play Festival showcases original Canadian comedic short plays and runs for one week, with four shows a night. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to go to all four shows in one night, you can just pick one if you’d prefer, there’s one every hour from 7 to 10pm.

Starting Over (by Adam Hunter Collier)

On Wednesday the evening started off with Starting Over, a twenty minute comedic piece about a young man, Richard (Philippe Poirier) at his first psychiatrist appointment. He had felt insincere in his corporate job so he tried being “open and honest” in the office which led to him being fired.

Continue reading Review: Bad Dog Theatre Short Play Festival

Spider Baby the Musical (AFS entertainment) 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

By Dorianne Emmerton

If you love Rocky Horror, go see Spider Baby the Musical. I happen to love Rocky Horror – and Evil Dead movies and Elvira and all sorts of horror-flavoured kitsch – so I very much enjoyed Spider Baby.

If you didn’t know what you were in for before sitting down in the audience you knew it as soon as the lights came up. The first thing you see is the four female cast members dressed in slinky black slips vamping their way through the opening number. They are sexy and scary in that camp sort of way. Continue reading Spider Baby the Musical (AFS entertainment) 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

[sic] (Theatre Best/Before from Toronto) 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

I had originally been scheduled to see [sic] Monday night, but unfortunately did not make it due to being trapped in the subway during one of the rolling blackouts. It is a shame I didn’t get to see it sooner so I could have recommended it before now, as it only has one show left. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone though: if you’re attached to realism in any way, this is not the show for you.

(Sic) is an absurdist comedy. It is noisy and fast-paced and often nonsensical. I happen to love this sort of theatre, but many do not. Continue reading [sic] (Theatre Best/Before from Toronto) 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

This Is About The Push (Seventh Stage Productions) 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

by Dorianne Emmerton

This Is About The Push is apparently the name of a three-part play, and this Fringe production is just Part One, entitled Opinions About The Invasion. I very much look forward to Part Two.

Going into it I knew that it was about women and war. I was apprehensive that it would be Drama-with-a-capital-D: heavy, dreary and lacking in humour. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, in Part One at least, it was entertaining and funny and there wasn’t any actual war. Continue reading This Is About The Push (Seventh Stage Productions) 2010 Toronto Fringe Review