>>>SummerWorks review: The Marquise Of O–

THE MARQUISE OF O-- Factory Mainspace (125 Bathurst) Rating: NNNN Aug.


Factory Mainspace (125 Bathurst)

Rating: NNNN

Aug 8 at 9 pm, Aug 10 at 4:15 pm, Aug 11 at 6:30 pm, Aug 14 at 4:15 pm, Aug 15 at 7 pm, Aug 16 at 1:45 pm. 1-888-328-8384, summerworks.ca.

Lauren Gillis and Ted Witzel’s stylish adaptation of the 1808 short story by German writer Heinrich von Kleist touches on lots of themes that are hot button issues today, from slut shaming and rape to societal hypocrisy around women’s sexuality.

The eponymous marquise (Rong Fu) posts an ad saying she is pregnant and is looking for the father of her child, which causes an uproar among her family and friends. We then flash back to reveal what led to her situation and continue on to see how it gets resolved.

Directors Gillis and Witzel capture the work’s restless, melodramatic, philosophical and at times confusing spirit, and have great fun juxtaposing eras, mixing sumptuous period costumes with (underused) video projections and modern props and language. The sight of the elaborately gowned marquise using a home pregnancy kit is hilarious.

Apart from one under-rehearsed performance, the actors are generally good, particularly Kaleb Alexander as a brooding, dashing Count and G. Kyle Shields as the marquise’s sexually ambiguous brother.

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