All posts by Winston Soon

Review: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Soulpepper)

Tom Stoppard’s classic as theatre in the round at Toronto’s Young Centre for the Performing Arts

I am not sure if you will ever see a truly bad show at Soulpepper, it is always a favourite to review because of its budget, ideal space at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts and its high calibre of talent. I rushed into Wednesday night’s production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead with such expectations and was thrilled to see the show was set in the round. Dana Osborne’s bare bones, in-the-round staging and Kevin Lamotte’s simple and effective lighting were a perfect complement to both the show’s existential nature as well as its Shakespearian scenes that we know were written for the groundlings in the pit. Continue reading Review: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Soulpepper)

Review: Endgame (Soulpepper)

Soulpepper’s Endgame is a testament to Toronto’s theatre community “where being excellent is simply the norm”

The ending is in the beginning.” Or so the character of Hamm so famously said in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame. Endgame is the second to last show of Soulpepper’s 15th anniversary season and speaking the words of Hamm is Joseph Ziegler. The last time this show was staged it won the Dora Award for best show, way back in 1999.

This version is more of a revision than a remount by its original director Daniel Brooks, and it is rounded out by Eric Peterson as Nag, Maria Vacratsis as Nell, and Diego Matamoros as Clov – the lone survivor from the original cast. Continue reading Review: Endgame (Soulpepper)

Review: No Great Mischief (Tarragon Theatre)

Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre transports audiences to the shores of the Atlantic in this Alistair Macleod adaptation.

I was really looking forward to seeing No Great Mischief, David Young’s adaptation of the best selling Alistair Macleod novel of the same name.

I am from the Maritimes and a great lover of Canadian literature, but somehow this novel never quite made it onto my reading list. Its remount serves as Tarragon Theatre’s season opener and the lights went down with a buzz in the air. Continue reading Review: No Great Mischief (Tarragon Theatre)

HUFF (Dependant Theatre Projects) 2012 SummerWorks Review

I thought I had probably seen my favourite SummerWorks 2012 when I walked into The Theatre Centre to see HUFF. I was wrong. HUFF is a tour de force performance and creation of Cliff Cardinal who uses every inch of the stage to create a story both hilarious and horrible – the sweet and sad story of three brothers growing up on a northern Ontario First Nations reserve.

It is directed expertly by Karin Randoja and uses a wonderful set created by Elizabeth Kantor. Every element is used here – the stage in it’s entirety – equipped with a massive plastic bag backdrop, a chair, a milk crate, a paper bag and beer bottles. Continue reading HUFF (Dependant Theatre Projects) 2012 SummerWorks Review

Extinction Song (Voodoo Theatre) 2012 SummerWorks Review

Extinction Song is a spell binding one-man show written and directed by Ron Jenkins and performed by Ron Pederson. These two Rons are an award winning force – the play has won Edmonton’s Sterling Award and it will likely have a good life beyond this year’s SummerWorks festival.

Performed in Theatre Passe Muraille’s Mainspace, it is beautifully written, tightly directed, and performed with astonishing energy and articulation.

Continue reading Extinction Song (Voodoo Theatre) 2012 SummerWorks Review