City Guides » Critics' Picks of the Year

Top 10 plays of 2015

Our theatre team gives the ultimate reviews.

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Leaves of the Virgin Mary
  • Leaves of the Virgin Mary

A Good Death (DaPoPo Theatre)
The fact that I'm still thinking about this play, the first of over 100 I saw in the past year, is a testament to its power and beauty. Kim Parkhill's finely crafted script explores the emotionally fraught topic of assisted suicide. An impressive all-female cast and gorgeous production design. —KW


Discussion: Cultural Appropriation and Racial Diversity (panel organized by Roy Ellis and Ryan Van Horne)
There was lots to learn about the dangers of cultural appropriation and whitewashing from the gracious and courageous speakers at this community discussion, planned after a play's cancellation due to disrespectful promotional material. The panel's big take-away: "It's not the responsibility of underrepresented people to be louder to get heard." —MH


Hardboiled (LoHiFi)
I can't help but smile when I think of this play. Billed as a "surreal noir" mystery, it imagined Salvador Dali as detective on the mean streets of New York. Thanks to a mix of sharp writing, puppetry, projection and memorable characters, Hardboiled was clever, funny and oh-so-unique. —KW


I'm Doing This For You (DaPoPo Theatre)
Haley McGee's acutely invigorating "solo" is a surprising and nuanced exploration of the "crazy girlfriend" trope. Sharp beyond belief, For You warmly guided the audience to the refreshing intersection where improv meets theatre, breaking theatre conventions a-plenty in the process. A hilarious, haunting show.—MH


Leaves of the Virgin Mary (Forerunner Theatre)
Every highly physical moment was sensational, beautifully executed with purpose and care. Minimal text was brought to life by the remarkable trio of Margaret Legere, James MacLean and Stephanie MacDonald through masterful choreography, intoxicating projections and razor-sharp direction. Leaves delivered a unique and sincere physical-theatre meditation on memory. —MH


Let's Not Beat Each Other to Death (Accidental Mechanics)
Let's Not was a deeply poetic eulogy and galvanizing pop concert, responding to countless violent attacks on the LGBTQ+ community. Exploring both hatred and hope, Stewart Legere gave Halifax a gorgeous performance through song and storytelling: unsettling and mystical, raw and hospitable, aggravatingly poignant. —MH


MacBeth (WillPower Theatre/Off The Leash)
Five actors on a nearly bare stage created an amazingly rich, full and lucid production. Outstanding lighting and incredibly creative costuming elevated this show to one of the highlights of 2015. —KW


The Best Brothers (KAZAN Co-op)
This two-man comedy about polar-opposite siblings who reconcile after losing their mother in a bizarre accident was one of the season's most charming productions. Funny yet emotionally astute, it entertained and endeared. —KW


The Tempest (Two Planks and a Passion Theatre)
The glorious outdoor setting at Ross Creek proved to be the perfect place to showcase the magic of Shakespeare's Tempest. Though a fantastical tale, director Ken Schwartz focused on the real emotion in the play, allowing it to be both moving and wonder-filled. —KW


What a Young Wife Ought to Know (2b Theatre/Neptune)
Clandestine heartache and uncomfortable humour followed Sophie (Liisa Repo-Martell), struggling to advocate for her sexual health in 1920s Ottawa. Hannah Moscovitch's brilliant examination of women's reproductive rights cut achingly close to present-day feminist battles, and Repo-Martell couldn't have been more captivating. —MH


Meghan Hubley is a playwright, arts writer, poet and cool mom stubbornly planted in the north end.

Kate Watson has asked for a pony every Christmas since she was five. She’s still waiting.

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