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: Smyth/Williams (One Little Goat Theatre Company)

Photo of Kim Nelson, Deborah Drakeford, and Lynette Gillis

Smyth/Williams brings cold, hard facts to Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille

In 2010, Russell Williams was arrested for two rape-murders, and other counts of sexual assault, confinement, and breaking and entering. One Little Goat Theatre Company’s Smyth/Williams playing at the Theatre Pass Muraille Backspace is a dramatization of the transcript of Williams’s interrogation by—and subsequent confession to—OPP Detective Jim Smyth.

It is infuriating, nausea-inducing, and exhausting, sitting on the uncomfortable line between a necessary performance and giving an unnecessary platform to a man who doesn’t deserve our attention.

Continue reading Review: Smyth/Williams (One Little Goat Theatre Company)

Review: Deceitful Above All Things (The Storefront Theatre and Favour The Brave Collective)

Photo of Genevieve Adam and John Fitzgerald Jay in Deceitful Above All Things Storefront Theatre presents a tale of discovery in the new world, on stage in Toronto

The ‘new world’ is more than just a struggle to survive, it’s also a struggle to let go of who you really are in the wilderness. The Storefront Theatre’s Deceitful Above All Things — done in association with Favour The Brave Collective — playing at the Factory Theatre Studio attempts to strip away historical veneers of Canada in the 1600’s to get at the humanity underneath.

While there’s a wealth of material, I can’t help but think all that focus on humanity also lost some of the plot.

Continue reading Review: Deceitful Above All Things (The Storefront Theatre and Favour The Brave Collective)

Review: Carrie: the musical (Hart House Theatre)

Photo of Tiyana Scott as Carrie WhiteStephen King’s horror classic comes to the Toronto stage

Hart House Theatre’s production of the named Carrie: the musical seems like a good choice for a young cast and an inter-generational audience. Bullying is a great theme, it’s got great visual possibilities because of its story, and the audience will have fans of the book and films offering a little leeway for younger performers.

A good idea does not, however, a good production make.

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2017 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Silk Bath (Silk Bath Collective)

Photo of Amanda Zhou in Silk Bath
If there was ever a way to capture the sprawling, intimidating, racist, and limiting nature of the Canadian immigration system, I don’t think you are going to find anything better than The Silk Bath Collective’s Silk Bath playing at the Factory Theatre Studio as part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival.

Continue reading 2017 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Silk Bath (Silk Bath Collective)

Review: WinterSong (Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre)

Photo of WinterSong ensemble

WinterSong graces Toronto stages with a somewhat alternative Holiday experience

There’s nothing better than than a little change in pace for the holiday season. Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre presents a night of dance in WinterSong at the Fleck Dance Theatre.

It’s a lovely evening that offers up something a little different for those who are tired of the same old December songs.

Continue reading Review: WinterSong (Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre)

Review: Dog Sees God (Echo Productions)

Photo of Dog Sees God posterToronto’s Echo Productions presents a grown-up Peanuts gang in the play Dog Sees God

The Peanuts gang has grown up in Echo Production’s Dog Sees God Confessions of a Teenaged Blockhead playing at the John Candy Box Theatre. This dark dramedy/parody, playwright Bert V. Royal presents the changes from childhood to adolescence wrought by life happening.

As a play, it’s a paint by the numbers coming out piece, but in the hands of director Victoria Fuller and an amazing cast, it manages to overcome any shortcomings.

Continue reading Review: Dog Sees God (Echo Productions)

Review: Agency (Yell Rebel Theatre)

Photo of Eva Barrie and Earl Pastko in AgencyEva Barrie play, on stage in Toronto, is a fascinating character study

Actions born out of dire situations can come back to haunt us. In Yell Rebel Theatre’s Agency, playing at the Theatre Centre Incubator Space until November 20th, the consequences of past actions becomes a living, breathing thing.

A disturbing script delves into questions of self, histories, and the point at which a person can, or can’t, let go.

Continue reading Review: Agency (Yell Rebel Theatre)

Review: King Lear (Mortar & Pestle Productions)

Poster for King LearMortar and Pestle’s King Lear stays on script, but could be gutsier

Where, exactly, does a tragedy start? Is it the moment a story is conceived? Or is it the moments when everything can be easily undone by simple communication?

Mortar and Pestle Production’s King Lear playing at the Gerrard Arts Space is a show that presents the inevitable tragedy with characters who seem to expect the events.

When everyone feels ahead of the plot, however, the story becomes less a tragedy and more a question of purpose.

Continue reading Review: King Lear (Mortar & Pestle Productions)

Review: Frolick in the Face of Death (Frolick Theatre)

Picture of Frolick in the Face of Certain Death

Toronto’s Frolick Studio Theatre goes easy on terror, but asks you to get your hands a bit bloody

A murder, a missing body, and a long forgotten history. Is anyone really ready for by Frolick Theatre playing at the Frolick Studio Theatre?

This is an interactive haunted house that thrives on its theatrical roots—a fun little romp with a few creative extras thrown in.

Continue reading Review: Frolick in the Face of Death (Frolick Theatre)

Review: Aftermath (Waterworks Company)

Photo of Helena Levitt as Andrea DworkinAftermath, now on stage in Toronto, is intense and challenging

In 1999, feminist activist and writer Andrea Dworkin was drugged and raped in Paris. Aftermath, adapted for the stage by Adam Thorburn from from an unpublished work of Dworkin’s, produced by Waterworks Company and playing at the Aki Studio, is her story in her own words.

This is not an easy production to watch, and it’s even harder to forget.

Continue reading Review: Aftermath (Waterworks Company)