All posts by Madeleine Copp

Madeleine Copp saw her first show when she was four years old and it was love at first sight. She pursued a bachelor’s in theatre production and design and English literature, culminating in a love for flexible, innovative, and diverse theatre artists that challenge all our preconceived notions of the stage. Her thesis, Printed Voices: Women, Print, and Performance pushed for new interpretations of closet drama from the early modern to modern period in the hopes of seeing more female playwrights included in the performance canon. Since graduating, Madeleine continues to seek out unexpected, startling, and challenging works that leave her angry, speechless, and wonderfully confused.

Review: Scorch (Bustle and Beast Theatre Co. and Blarney Productions)

Photo of Julie NIUBOI Ferguson in ScorchScorch dazzles on the Toronto stage with questions about gender and justice

Sometimes a show is just great: the set, the direction, the actor, are amazing. That’s exactly what Bustle & Beast Theatre Company with Blarney Production’s Scorch playing at the Theatre Pass Muraille Backspace is: great. As a result, please allow me to count the ways Scorch is a must-see show for 2018.

Continue reading Review: Scorch (Bustle and Beast Theatre Co. and Blarney Productions)

La Seconde surprise de l’amour (Théâtre français)

Photo of the Second Surprise of LoveToronto’s French-language theatre stages a new production of Pierre de Marivaux’s play

I think, sometimes, shows fall into that awkward place between comfortable and predictable. TheThéâtre français’s La Seconde surprise de l’amour/The Second Surprise of Love playing at the Berkeley Street Theatre is an eighteenth-century romantic comedy that plays out exactly as you expect. Continue reading La Seconde surprise de l’amour (Théâtre français)

Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape (Obsidian Theatre Company/Soulpepper)

Photo of Motion in OraltorioObsidian Theatre’s “pitch perfect” musical play Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape takes the stage in Toronto

You ever see a show that hits all the right notes? Obsidian Theatre Company’s Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape playing at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts is just that: a pitch perfect performance.

Continue reading Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape (Obsidian Theatre Company/Soulpepper)

Review: Portia’s Julius Caesar (Shakespeare in the Ruff)

Photo of Catherine Horne and Nikki Duval in Portia's Julius Caesar

Playwright Kaitlyn Riordan had Shakespeare’s women—or lack thereof— on her mind when she constructed Portia’s Julius Caesar for Shakespeare in the Ruff playing in Withrow Park. She decided to create “a new Shakespearean play where we meet all kinds of women” using a mixture of Shakespear’s language from plays, sonnets, poetry and her own writing.

The result is an attempt to flesh out women’s roles that doesn’t quite succeed for me in the execution.

Continue reading Review: Portia’s Julius Caesar (Shakespeare in the Ruff)

Review: Measure for Measure (Shakespeare BASH’d)

Photo Sochi Friend in Measure for MeasureMeasure for Measure doesn’t break molds but delivers stellar performances, playing in Toronto

If a company attempts to reinterpret a text as more progressive than it is, does the play overcome its era?

Shakespeare BASH’d‘s Measure for Measure playing at the Junction City Music Hall might not rewrite the history books but it offers its own rewards for the audience.

Continue reading Review: Measure for Measure (Shakespeare BASH’d)

Review: Picnic in the Cemetery (Folga Gaang Project and Canadian Stage)

Photo of Picnic in the CemeteryPicnic in the Cemetery is beautiful but lacks cohesion, at the Berkeley Theatre in Toronto

I don’t think I’ve ever left a show quite as confused as I did walking out of Folga Gaang Project’s Picnic in the Cemetery presented in association with Canadian Stage at the Berkeley Street Upstairs Theatre.

Despite excellent parts, Picnic in the Cemetery feels it should be better than it actually is. Moreover, as an audience member, I feel like I should have liked it better than I did. It’s a show where all the excellent smothers what’s actually good.

Continue reading Review: Picnic in the Cemetery (Folga Gaang Project and Canadian Stage)

Review: Le Menteur (Théâtre Français de Toronto)

Photo of Le MenteurThéâtre français de Toronto’s new play Le Menteur is a fast-paced, hilarious romp

There’s lying and then there’s lying. Théâtre français de Toronto‘s Le Menteur playing at the Berkeley Street Theatre gives a tongue-in-cheek lesson to its audience on how to spin a tale.

And if you want a fun time at the theatre, this is one lesson I guarantee you’ll want to see for yourselves.

Continue reading Review: Le Menteur (Théâtre Français de Toronto)

Review: What A Young Wife Ought to Know (2B theatre company and Crow’s Theatre)

Photo of What a Young Wife Ought to KnowA dark comedy of a woman’s life pre birth control, on stage at Streetcar Crowsnest in Toronto

There is no love lost for the past’s treatment of women’s bodily autonomy in 2b theatre company’s What a Young Wife Ought to Know playing at the Streetcar Crowsnest. Things are better now, if not perfect, and we’d do well to try and keep it that way.

At least, that’s how my guest and I felt leaving the theatre. We were haunted, terrified, and struck by just how important it was to hear this specific story in this day and age.

Continue reading Review: What A Young Wife Ought to Know (2B theatre company and Crow’s Theatre)

Review: Le Dire de Di (Théatre Français and Théatre la Catapulte)

Photo of Marie-Eve Fontaine in Le Dire de DiThéatre Français and Théatre la Catapulte presents Le Dire de Di playing in Toronto

It’s not about what you remember or why you remember, in Théatre Français and Théatre la Catapulte‘s Le Dire de Di playing at the Berkeley Street Theatre, it’s the weight of those memories that make them real.

Taking a poetic journey into nature, society, and science, Le Dire de Di finds itself bogged down by words despite an incredible performance.

Continue reading Review: Le Dire de Di (Théatre Français and Théatre la Catapulte)

Review: Hamlet (Tarragon Theatre)

Photo of Hamlet ensembleTarragon Theatre delivers Shakespeare’s classic Hamlet through a rock n’ roll lens in Toronto

There is something to be said on whether or not the type of music integrated into a show can help reimagine a well-known story. Tarragon Theatre’s Hamlet applies a rock and roll ‘lens’ to a familiar tale.

The results don’t rewrite the book, but when a production’s this good, it’s hard to argue.

Continue reading Review: Hamlet (Tarragon Theatre)