December 1917: The Halifax Explosion

Don't let a surfeit of tragedy keep you from this play

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Even if a relentless diet of Titanic anniversary fare has filled you to the brim with tragedy, I urge you to go see December 1917: The Halifax Explosion. This beautifully constructed piece of theatre has been brought to Halifax by the members of the new graduating class of the Sheridan-UTM Theatre and Drama Program in Ontario. The class (along with director Meredith Scott) adapted facts and survivor accounts from two books to create a lucid and lyrical retelling of the tragedy. The first half of the play forms a kind of introduction to a large cast of characters and sets up the facts of the tragedy itself. In the second, post-explosion half, the fates of the characters are revealed. Movement and music are used to great effect, bridging scenes and beautifully representing the inconceivable death and devastation. I was also most impressed by the costumes and especially the makeup (Something I don’t notice often!). In the first half, the pale faces and accentuated facial plains were reminiscent of silent movies and in the second they became ghoulish, zombie-like death masks. Brilliant!

May 10th-12th at 8pm and May 12th at 2pm at the Alderney Landing Theatre

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