Credit the Alumnae Theatre for tackling Alan Ayckbourn 's dark farce Absurd Person Singular , which tracks the lives of a trio of married couples over three Christmases in the 70s. It's hard to play the farce rhythms so the laughs are there as well as the sadness and scariness that imbue Ayckbourn's characters. Director Brad Lepp offers us sluggish pacing much of the time, though his characters are nicely developed. Too bad some actors were still stepping on one another's lines three days into the run.
The women are the backbone of this production, with good work by Karie Richards as Jane, who defines her life by her cleaning activities, and Kelly Bolt as Eva, a depressed, shunted-aside wife with suicidal tendencies. Best of all is Andy Fraser Rhodes 's Marion, a drinker whose elegance, tartness and condescending humour disappear when she gets into the booze. See Continuing, page 80.
Good to see Opera Atelier 's revival of Persée , one of its best productions. The tale of Greek hero Perseus, who with the help of the gods flies around killing monsters and saving their victims, gets a strong, stylized staging by Marshall Pynkoski and entertaining choreography by Jeannette Zingg . Added theatricality comes from singers Alain Coulombe and Monica Whicher , who generate emotion beneath the period gestures. It's well sung and played (by the Tafelmusik Orchestra and chorus under Hervé Niquet ), and the snake-headed Medusa sung and flamboyantly acted by bass-baritone Olivier Laquerre adds unexpected comedy. A stylish production of a rarely seen work. See Continuing, page 80.
Lab Cab is accepting applications until May 17 for its annual $750 grant for an artist's professional development. Funds come from the pooled pwyc admissions to the monthly cabarets of works-in-progress. Send your one-page proposal for how the money should be spent to Lab Cab Grant, c/o Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst, Toronto M5V 2R2.
Buddies and Nightwood seek submissions for the second annual Hysteria , a multidisciplinary festival next November that celebrates women's voices. Projects should be new creations and existing works by emerging and established artists from diverse cultural, sexual and artistic backgrounds. For more info and application details, contact Kelly Thornton at Nightwood (416-944-1740, ext 2) or Moynan King at Buddies (416-975-9130, ext 27). Deadline is June 15.