Faster Than the Speed of Dating Runs Smooth

The last show to open at undercurrents 2017 is the delightfully silly Faster than the Speed of Dating. With its myriad pop culture references and archetypes, some smooth sleight-of-hand, and good old-fashioned clowning, FTTSOD is just the kind of show you want to see while unwinding with a drink after one of the mainstage shows. … Continue reading Faster Than the Speed of Dating Runs Smooth

“Tomorrow’s Child” Sounds Like a Good Idea

*warning: this review contains spoilers* With Tomorrow’s Child, Calgary’s Ghost River Theatre hits on an excellent concept with similarly excellent technical expertise, although some flaws in the dramaturgy prevent this immersive sensory experience from achieving its true potential. Tomorrow’s Child is a dramatization of Ray Bradbury’s short story “Tomorrow Child”, but more importantly it is … Continue reading “Tomorrow’s Child” Sounds Like a Good Idea

“Tomorrow’s Child” has room for growth.

****This review may contain spoilers***** The final show to premier at undercurrents this year is from Ghost River Theatre in Calgary, and it is unlike anything else at the festival. The company has specifically requested that I not reveal some key details about the show, and I will attempt to honour that request; I am … Continue reading “Tomorrow’s Child” has room for growth.

Take a Stroll with “Indigenous Walks”

  Undercurrents festival has for two years now included events with Indigenous creators and stories. Last year’s Indigenous Performance Reaching Critical Mass one-off panel celebrated the NAC’s decision to expand its mandate to include an Aboriginal theatre stream along side it’s French and English departments, while also reminding us that there is still and always … Continue reading Take a Stroll with “Indigenous Walks”

But Wait, There’s More! 2 New Shows to Catch at undercurrents this Week

The first week of undercurrents this year has been dominated by solo performances, but as Brotherhood and Vovk move on to new adventures they make room for two more ensemble shows that explore different types of deprivation – one in which the audience cannot see, and one in which the performers do not speak. Tomorrow’s … Continue reading But Wait, There’s More! 2 New Shows to Catch at undercurrents this Week

“Un-Countried” Finds Timely Relevance in History

When Stéphanie Turple first wrote Un-Countried she, like many of us, was still laughing off the idea of a Donald Trump presidency. Now, making its world premiere at the 2017 undercurrents Theatre Festival, Theatre 4.669’s production must contend with the fact that, given current political realities, the issues and messages within the piece now carry … Continue reading “Un-Countried” Finds Timely Relevance in History

Real Life Meets Art in Turple’s “Un-Countried”

Theatre 4.669’s Un-Countried, a tale of two East German border guards working a fateful shift and its aftermath, has a serendipitous immediacy in spite of its somewhat conservative dramatic style. Un-Countried, written by Stéphanie Turple, starts off in a cramped East German border office, with two contrasting personalities working the checkpoint: a young and idealistic recruit on … Continue reading Real Life Meets Art in Turple’s “Un-Countried”

“Vovk” is Packed with ‘Fang’tastic Potential

One of my favourite parts about undercurrents are the Late Night pay-what-you-can performances.  This year audiences who stick around the Arts Court Studio lobby will be treated to Vovk, running until February 11, and Faster than the Speed of Dating, starting February 16th, and the intimacy and cabaret-feeling of the Late Night shows add a … Continue reading “Vovk” is Packed with ‘Fang’tastic Potential

“Burnt” and the Magic of Theatre

I’m not going to be reviewing Norah Paton’s show Burnt in the traditional sense. Instead, what I want to talk about is the concept of “the magic of theatre”. People often bring up this phrase when they’ve witnessed some incredibly unique event during a live performance that was either completely accidental or coincidental. It’s the … Continue reading “Burnt” and the Magic of Theatre

“Burnt” Explores Authenticity at Burning Man

There is a cultural phenomenon called Burning Man. Ten days of “radical freedom” in the Nevada desert, an economy of gifts, a massive party, fantastic art installations. This show is about that, but only so far as it’s a setting for the competing and overlapping narratives that form the collective cultural memory of Burning Man. Creator/performer … Continue reading “Burnt” Explores Authenticity at Burning Man