Archive for February, 2011

Catalyst Theatre’s Nevermore

Photo Credit: Catalyst Theatre

So a in February I got to see Catalyst Theatre’s Nevermore at Vertigo. Again I’m late actually posting about it, but since the show’s been touring for a while and I hope will continue to do so … I am OK with that! (If you go to the Catalyst site, check out the promo video in the right hand column).

I can’t even talk about it without babbling about how great it was. The show is if Nightmare Before Christmas were live and about Poe. That is really all that needs to be said. I went alone, but I have a particular friend who I so wish lived in Calgary because I think she would’ve freaked out about it.

The only quibble I have is  that there were some choices with how it was acted that were sort of … grating … particularly some high pitched noises, but I get where they were going with it.

Nevermore has been touring for a while. Seems like they’re done now, but it’s amazing so if you haven’t seen it, definitely put a change monitor on the Catalyst page so you know when it’ll be playing in your area!

Absurdesque (& 2011 Rodeo Wrap Up)

I got to see Absurdesque on Sunday! (I love my new theatre job!) I’ve had a really great time at the High Performance Rodeo this year and since I’ve been remiss in blogging about any of it, I thought I’d do a round up.

I went to: Swallow-a-Bicycle’s Freak Show (Thurs Jan 6), Compagnie Drift’s Soundmachine (Thurs Jan 20) and Theatrelabor’s Absurdesque (Sun Jan 30). I really wanted to see Catalyst Theatre’s Nevermore (which is of course still possible — and happened and I’ll post about it) and Snowblower, which I missed because it was cold that week and I’d frozen myself easrlier that week for DemoCamp and didn’t want to do it again.

I liked that Freak Show was both performance art and theatre at the same time. In some ways the tone wasn’t completely my bag … sometimes I found it sort of silly-sexual and I go in for absurd more than silly. But it was a really interesting format and I loved the use of the bowels of the EPCOR Centre for the tour. The first skit-tableau we saw was a “tribulations of pregnancy’ skit and I thought that was really entertaining. I also liked the Alice In Wonderland monologue (love Alice In Wonderland). I was there alone but with a group of friends I think it would be really hilarious and would love to see more theatre in this format.

Photo: Compagnie Drift / High Performance Rodeo

I was really glad I got to see Soundmachine. I thought the idea of “hearing the unhearable” but sometimes I thought the sounds weren’t … investigating the meaning of what they might be hearing? You know? So that became hard to get out of it and it was sort of whimsical experimentation with sound instead of hearing the unhearable. It was still really fun though, and the singing techniques and live sound mixing with recorded instrumentals were quite interesting. I also loved the singing and wished I understood the French. Another reason I may have not been as impressed by the connections between the sounds and the “unhearable” is that I had recently been listening to a Radiolab episode mentioning that people had recorded what sounds the electrical activity in mice brains make. Which really is sort of hearing the normally unhearable, and is awfully hard to follow with made up sounds.

Last Sunday I went to Absurdesque, by Theatrelabor.  I like shows like this that are hard to follow, though I haven’t seen a lot of classic absurd theatre. I think one of my favourite sections of Absurdesque was when one of the actors got on the table and was reciting what sounds like something from a theatre textbook on absurd theatre. It’s always interesting as you’re watching absurd theatre to navigate between how your life is absurd and then back to life being not absurd, really. It’s absurd but only to a certain extent. And so I think I find it … poignant, but also absurd and funny in and of itself.

I did end up getting to see Nevermore! I loved it and am planning to post about it later today.

Meanwhile