- Lear like you've never seen it.
Magnetic North is more than just 11 days of plays. There are activities happening all over the city that showcase Halifax to the world, and bring Haligonians "up close and personal" with theatre practitioners from across Canada.
A great example was last night's Oval Roller Skating Party, which is presented in collaboration with Nocturne Art At Night. Balloons and tunes, bubbles and chalk —-there was a real community party atmosphere. And with with the help of a patient and kind five-year-old, this first-time Oval visitor made it once around the track.
The fun extended well into the night with a raucous round of DaPoPo Theatre's The Drinking Game. The Festival bar at The Atlantica Hotel was packed as DaPoPo members bared their souls with a series of personal questions and quirky challenges.[jump]
Lear - Directed by Philip McKee
Featuring Clare Coulter
Lear is Shakepeare's King Lear pared down to it's essence. It's a story about aging. It's a story about the old being replaced by the young.
This reimagining turns everything topsy-turvy. Lear is played by a woman, but she is indeed a king and a father. Cordelia is a near-emotionless man, though still a daughter. Even the physical space flips.
There are parts in the play that really spoke to me (Goneril and Regan's sibling rivalry expressed through a dance battle, for example), but as a whole I came away wondering, "What does it all mean?".
With work as deliberately provocative as this one, it's hard to know if scenes that feel unsatisfying (such as Lear's vaudevillian fashion show) are meant to be that way. Does this emperor (or King) have no clothes?
See it, and weigh in.
Broken Sex Doll - Book, Lyrics and Directed by Andy Thompson
Music by Anton Lipovetsky
The Virtual Stage (Vancouver, BC)
It's the year 2136, and, surprise, surprise, people are still obsessed with sex and social media. In fact, humans and androids are able to share sensory experiences via something called "feelies".
Broken Sex Doll is a musical science fiction sex comedy about an android named Ginger (Chelsea Rose Tucker) who falls in love with a struggling actor (Andrew Cohen). Their mind-blowing sex, shared with the hungry public, puts them in the line of fire of the King, a heartless rock star.
The choreography and music are impressive, the performances are top-notch, but the story itself falls flat.
I wanted social commentary with my camp. Instead I got an 80's sitcom filled with a 50's misogyny.
I like naughty. I even like vulgar. I wanted to like this show, I really did. But I left feeling that it could have been so much more.
Not my favourite, but hey, it'll sell out because it's got SEX.
When It Rains - Written and Directed by Anthony Black
2b theatre (Halifax, NS)
When It Rains is blackly funny social satire, heartbreaking drama, and visually arresting theatrical illusion all at once. Check out the trailer here: