Everyone get ready for Rhubarb! Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents the 40th installation of the wild and wonderful bite-sized theatre festival from February 13-23, featuring a host of talented creators doing what they do best.
The anarchic and experimental nature of the event, Canada’s longest-running new works festival, makes it a review-free zone. Artists – and there are more than 100 involved this year – are encouraged to run, play, and even cavort with their creative impulses. Some works remain festival-specific, and some go on to expansion and remounting.
Continue reading Preview: The 40th Rhubarb Festival (Buddies in Bad Times)
The Progress Festival presents a play by Scotland’s Nic Green in Toronto
Cock and Bull, conceived and directed by Scotland’s Nic Green and currently being presented by FADO Performance Art Centre as part of the Progress Festival at The Theatre Centre, was originally devised for the eve of the 2015 UK General election that saw the Conservative Party’s David Cameron re-elected with an increased share of the vote. Winner of the 2016 Total Theatre Award for best visual/physical theatre at Edinburgh, the show sees three women (Green, Laura Bradshaw, and Rosana Cade) create their own party conference, slipping into the role of vacuous male politicians with mushroom cuts and savage aplomb.
Continue reading Review: Cock and Bull (Nic Green)
Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) is now on stage in Toronto
In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play), being presented by RedWit Theatre at the Tarragon Extraspace, is the Sarah Ruhl play about the Victorian treatment for “hysteria” that earned three Tony nominations in 2010. Set in 1880, as the world begins to electrify, the play takes place in the home of Dr. Givings (Christina Fox), who has introduced his (utterly clinical) invention to reduce depression and languor in the lives of Victorian women. The device, essentially an ur-vibrator, induces a restorative “paroxysm” in the woman to relieve congestion in the womb. Continue reading Review: In the Next Room (RedWit Theatre)
Lauren & Amanda Do It, presented by Toasted Theatre Company at the Next Stage Theatre Festival, bills itself as a frank discussion about sex in a province where sex ed is currently in crisis. Pared down from its hour-long iteration into a 30-minute performance in the Factory Theatre Antechamber, it’s styled as an ever-changing talk show, with a rotating roster of guests.
Hosts Lauren Cauchy and Amanda Logan, aided by sprightly, bright original music and participation from Alli Harris, determine each night’s topic by spinning the “Wheel of Fucking.” The wheel has topics ranging from “Fetishes and Fantasies” to “Masturbation,” the latter being our fortune for opening night. Even if the wheel spin is the same two nights in a row, we’re assured that there will be different material for returning customers. (Three nights in a row, perhaps not.)
Continue reading 2019 Next Stage Festival Review: Lauren & Amanda Do It (Toasted Theatre Company)
Possessed, presented by Classy Little Bitch Productions at the Next Stage Theatre Festival, is a short exploration into family history, framed as a ritual. The 30-minute show is written and performed by Diana Bang, of Fringe hit SELF-ish; she portrays Sarah, a Korean-Canadian woman on the eve of her 35th birthday who is attempting to cure her shinbyeong, or self-loss, by becoming a Manchin, or shaman.
This type of spiritual healer, usually female, must originate through an initiation wherein she becomes possessed by spirits. Sarah calls on the spirits of her family, particularly those who endured or succumbed to great tragedy, in order to instigate her own healing.
Continue reading 2019 Next Stage Festival Review: Possessed (Classy Little Bitch Productions)