A Pericles For The Women

Pericles, Prince of Tyre is not a Shakespearean play that is staged often. It is incredibly complicated with fast location changes and the story passes through decades. It also includes a mixture of plotlines found within other Shakespeare stories such as pirates, reuniting families, bringing back someone thought to be dead … It’s a big melting pot of different plotlines. The complexity of the plot is what makes it a big task to make sense of.

Scott Wentworth was the director for this production titled The Adventures of Pericles. I have seen him act in many plays years over the years from Banquo to Shylock but this was my first time seeing a show he has directed so I was excited. I think the strongest element throughout the show was the double (triple?) casting of Antiochus’ daughter, Thaisa, and Marina. They are all played by the ever charming Deborah Hay who travels through these women’s stories to teach us about their individual strength.

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Photography by David Hou. Deborah Hay (Marina) and Evan Buliung (Pericles).

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Performing Shrew

Back in 2015, I missed out on the opportunity to see Stratford’s Taming of the Shrew but on July 31st CBC allowed people like me to see the filmed version. It is a part of their initiative to make arts more available to those who may otherwise be unable to see them in person. This version stars married actors Deborah Hay and Ben Carlson and was directed by Chris Abraham. The Stratford show could be seen as two extremes coming together to meet in the middle. Katherine and Petruchio shed their performed behaviours and find truthfulness in their love.

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Photography by David Hou.

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An All’s Well That Keeps Fighting

I recently went to see Shakespeare in High Park’s production of All’s Well That Ends Well (directed by Ted Witzel). I was so excited to see this show because, not only does SiHP put on a fun show, but this is a Shakespeare show that is rarely done. It is a complex, dark comedy and includes an ending that ends ‘well’ but leaves you questioning whether that is good enough. It places you in a world where people have the right and the ability to determine whether you are worthy or not.

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A picture I took of the preshow stage

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Our Every Day Witches: Macbeth

Antoni Cimolino’s Macbeth could be considered a traditional Macbeth by setting it in the 11th century. But this is a production that goes bump in the night and carries with it an air of mystery similar to an old monster movie. The feeling of the show reminds me of Ichabod Crane’s Sleepy Hollow or the village terrorized by Frankenstein’s monster. This is the world of the weird sisters. The forest they inhabit extends over the Festival stage. The forest remains a key focus even when the characters are in Macbeth’s castle, which seems to suggest the witches never truly leave Macbeth’s presence.

Macbeth – On The Run 2016

Photography by David Hou.

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Midsummer@TheGlobe – A New and Old Discussion

Currently A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the Shakespeare show I have seen the most versions of. I have seen it done with punk faeries, I’ve seen it in the 1920s, and I’ve performed it with a yoga ball set to name a few. I love this show so much and I was ecstatic to be given to opportunity to experience the Globe Theatre’s re-imagining of it this year.

Emma Rice’s debut as artistic director at the Globe presented a Midsummer which I would describe as a cross between Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge and a Bollywood movie. It was full of colour and momentum and flash. Rice’s Midsummer sparked a lot of conversations about the Globe’s purpose in the theatre world at large and about how Shakespearean shows should or should not be presented.

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The Untamable Shrew

I had the pleasure of seeing Phyllida Lloyd’s version of Taming of the Shrew at the Delacorte Theater while in New York City. The show featured an all-female cast who were full of energy and lit up the stage with this fiery piece. The cast and Lloyd fight at every turn against the simplification of women (or people) who are boxed in by an environment wanting them to conform to heavily gendered qualities.

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