All posts by Istvan Dugalin

Apart from his (pathological?) obsession with airplane disasters, Istvan is a filmmaker and film enthusiast, but began his creative adventures in theatre. Starting out as an actor, he soon discovered a preference for life behind-the-scenes. He has experience in lighting design, stage management and production management, but his passion is writing and directing. With several short films and an indie feature under his belt, film has been his focus in recent years, but theatre has been calling him back. You see more of his critical writing at his film reflection blog:

there/GONE (Discord and Din Theatre) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

My Toronto Fringe Festival experience began this year in a cozy vintage store in Kensington Market called Flashback Vintage. The air is thick with that comforting, musty scent of well-used objects kept in storage. I, and my fellow audience members, stroll around the shop, familiarizing ourselves with the merchandise and hunting for the object we were told would be ours for the duration of Discord and Din Theatre’s site-specific show there/GONE. Continue reading there/GONE (Discord and Din Theatre) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Fruit Fruit Mouth Mouth (Illume Collective) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

molly thomas, lexi pedneault and philip turkiewicz in photo by shauna sloan

Whenever I’ve been swept away by a story, I often play the “what if” game with myself. I conjure up all sorts of variations for the characters and their situation—switching genders, time periods and whatnot—in order to explore, internalize and understand it. That’s what Illume Collective does with Christina Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market” in Fruit Fruit Mouth Mouth, currently playing at the Factory Theatre Mainspace for the Toronto Fringe Festival. Continue reading Fruit Fruit Mouth Mouth (Illume Collective) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Review: Trout Stanley (Severely Jazzed Productions)

“Silly and sublime” Trout Stanley takes to the stage at the Storefront Theatre in Toronto


A critic once wrote, “Tom Robbins writes like Dolly Parton looks,” and I think this applies to Claudia Dey’s Trout Stanley. On the surface, it’s over-the-top, goofy and little bit cheap, but I was charmed by the spectacle. And as I sat there, giggling and shaking my head, I began to realize that the characters and their world meant more to me than I expected.

Currently playing at the Storefront Theatre, Severely Jazzed Productions tackles this wacky and poetic tale of two sisters who have barricaded themselves against the outside world. Since loosing a third twin in the womb and, eventually, their parents, Sugar and Grace Ducharme seem cursed by death. Holed up in their tiny house beside a garbage dump and plagued by news reports of murdered local women, they’ve created their own morbid mythology to make sense if it all. Continue reading Review: Trout Stanley (Severely Jazzed Productions)

Review: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Unit 102)


Judas is put on trial in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, on stage in Toronto

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, brought to radiant life by the Unit102 Acting Company at The Theatre Machine, draws us into a court case—set in Purgatory—for Jesus Christ’s infamous betrayer. He’s been damned to Hell for handing the messiah over to the authorities and then hanging himself. Continue reading Review: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Unit 102)

Review: Bedroom Farce (Soulpepper)

Bed Room Farce, Soulpepper

Now on stage in Toronto, Bedroom Farce is “a comforting blend of goofiness and sincerity”

I love a good farce—the awkward physicality, the slamming of doors and the silly predicaments. I also love the 70s—the Farrah Fawcett hair, the skintight bellbottoms and those bead curtains. Soulpepper’s production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce has all of the above and is a lot of fun.

So, we open on 70s Britain—four couples, three bedrooms. Continue reading Review: Bedroom Farce (Soulpepper)