Sistine Chapel is a theatrical miracle

Take advantage of your chance to catch the Stages Festival hit.

Stoo Metz

2b Theatre's Unconscious at the Sistine Chapel is a theatrical delight at the Stages Theatre Festival, playing through the fest's final weekend. It brings together technical magic, outstanding performances and a finely layered script filled with sharp, funny dialogue.

Playwright Michael Mackenzie imagines a chance meeting in the Sistine Chapel between two couples: Minna Bernays (Rosa Labordé) and her brother-in-law and possible paramour Sigmund Freud (Marcel Jeannin), and Nora Barnacle (Rebecca Parent) and her partner James Joyce (Tom Lute). Overlaid on this storyline is a present-day relationship between a young historian (Lute) and a powerful (slightly) older woman (Labordé) who disagree on how history should be framed.

Daniel Oulton's sophisticated projection design transforms the Central Library's cavernous Paul O'Regan Hall into a clever replica of the Sistine Chapel, and these projections combined with Johnny Cann's lighting and sound design allow for elegant transitions through time and space.

Lute gives a truly memorable performance as the naughty and inebriated Joyce, and Jeannin is a fabulous Freud—grave and detached yet with a twinkle in his eye. But it is Labordé and Parent whom I found most riveting. Both actors captured and broadcast the intelligence and spark of the women they portrayed—a spark that had been buried by history.

About The Author

Support The Coast

At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support independent journalism. We are committed as always to providing free access to readers, particularly as we confront the impact of COVID-19 in Halifax and beyond.

Read more about the work we do here, or consider making a donation. Thank you for your support!

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment

Get more Halifax

Our Thursday email gets you caught up with The Coast. Sign up and go deep on Halifax.