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NOV 11 2014
Have We Forgotten Yet? To mark the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the First World War, Imago Theatre, in collaboration with some of Montreal’s finest companies, is curating a series of staged readings of plays which put war in the spotlight. Each evening (and one afternoon), from Tuesday to Saturday, audiences will be thrust into the dark heart of a conflagration, whether in Iraq, Eritrea, Chile, the Congo, or some abstract hell hole of the playwright’s imagination. Some of these plays are already part of the international repertoire, like Howard Barker’s The Possibilities or Judith Thompson’s The Palace of the End. Others are awaiting major productions, but trailing persuasively prestigious awards in their wake. The title of the festival comes from a question posed by First World War poet Siegfried Sassoon. Imago are no doubt hoping audiences provide a resounding “No.”
Nov 11-15 at Monument National. More information here
Social Studies Tricia Cooper’s debut play comes on like a bubbly, more audience-friendly version of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance : a spoiled daughter comes home from her wrecked marriage to find there’s an interloper in her room. He’s not going anywhere, and his presence is causing all sorts of submerged anxieties to rise to the surface of a comfy suburban household.
Whereas in Albee’s play, the welcome-outstaying guests were refugees from some nameless fear, here it’s a far more concrete nightmare that’s being fled from as the teenage Deng, one of thousands of “lost boys” traumatised by the Sudanese civil war, gets taken in by a Winnipeg foster family presided over by a wacky New Age single mom. Directed by the supernaturally busy Paul Van Dyck in his Centaur debut, the play’s register is mostly that of heart-warming sitcom underpinned by real world sufferings.
Centaur Theatre until Nov 30. More information here
The Anorak – This monologue, based on the 1989 slaying of fourteen women at a Montreal college, caused quite a stir when it first played at the now-defunct Theatre 314 in 2007. So much so that its author, Adam Kelly Morton, was recruited as consultant on Denis Villeneuve’s controversial film, Polytechnique. Now remounted to mark the 25th anniversary of those terrible events, it arrives from London’s Hope Theatre to play at Montreal Improv Theatre over four consecutive weekends.
During performances, the audience is divided along gender lines, chillingly following the precedent set by the killer himself. The spine might be given an extra tingle this time around, given that the psychotically misogynistic Lépine is being portrayed by a woman, Farah Julia Ateb.
Montreal Improv Theatre from Nov 13-Dec 6, Thu-Sat only. More information here