Words are important for Quebec company Recto-Verso. The group visited the Theatre Centre last week with Berri Bergeron and Rachel Dubuc's multimedia Machine-E, based on a series of seven poems by Dubuc. Its words were everywhere -- projected onto screens and walls, written on the floor, even inscribed on the body of actor Michelle Polak -- as the audience walked around, watching a collage of videos on six TV monitors balanced on suitcases.
A rolling gyroscope-like device, filled with speakers that emitted text, children's laughter and guttural sounds was fascinating. Fixed to a central bar and describing an ongoing circle in front of the monitors, it resembled a mini-world that contained the lives of the people who spoke. The mesmerizing Polak, directed by Cathy GordonMarsh, morphed into a series of confrontational characters and got a real workout, constantly leaping over or sliding under the bar.
upping albee's ante
The characters in Edward Albee's The Play About The Baby -- seen last weekend as a Soulpepper Theatre showcase -- are an older couple prone to bitchy bickering and a younger, apparently, more innocent couple. Woven through the piece is talk about a baby that might or might not exist.
It could be the 60s classic Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? But in this more recent play, the younger couple has the child -- maybe -- and the postmodern style has hints of surrealism and directly addresses the audience.
Director Daryl Cloran and his fine cast -- Sarah Wilson and Christopher Morris as the youngsters, Kate Lynch and a very impressive Juan Chioran as the oldsters -- finesse the marvellous script's roller-coaster shifts.
But only two performances? Not fair.
Lab Cab, sponsored by Mak Truck and Olive Me Theatre, offers a monthly workshop of brief works and experimental pieces in progress.
Producers Faradee Rudy and Aviva Armour-Ostroff just awarded development money to their first grant winner, Beatriz Pizano. Grant money is drawn from the pwyc box office over the course of the year.
The season's first Lab Cab is Monday (September 30), 8 pm, with comic duo Jason and Ryan Belleville hosting performers Nat Roman, Eliza-Jane Scott, Ron Obadia and others. See listings for details.