Tuesday, May 8, 2012

the game of
love and chance

only a few days left in the run of the riotous Canadian Stage production of

The Game of Love and Chance !!!

Marivaux’s classic comedy has been beautifully stylized and adapted by a production  team that has a fine understanding of how the commingling of past and present theatrical convention can create a crisp and delightful hybrid.
The six member cast takes on challenging physical comedy with a real flair for turning stock characters into a kind of contemporary pastiche of all that has come before. Zach Fraser’s Mario is a brilliant foppish amalgamation of everything from an Oscar Wilde effete to a bumbling, wordy sophisticate fresh from the throes of a Noel Coward romantic comedy. Traces of sharp commedia del arte physicality seep through all of the performances as Trish Lindstrom, William Webster, and Harry Judge deliver wonderfully focused characterizations.

Standout performances by Gemma James-Smith  and Gil Garratt as servants caught within class conflict and outrageous misalliance make the evening a raucous exercise in hilarious physical and emotional contortions - punctuating every word and deed with a contrived, amusingly elegant form of complex blocking. Moving both in and out of sync with their thoughts and actions they fill the stage with intense manic energy.

A few centuries ago, when Marivaux’s scripts were brand new, the form had already morphed through a number of theatrical influences. Matthew Jocelyn’s direction and Nicholas Billon’s translation are true to the anachronistic creative spirit that influenced classic French comedy as well as earlier genres across the channel (i.e. Shakespeare). Sets by Anick La Bissonière and costumes by Linda Brunelle render this Canadian Stage/Centaur Theatre collaboration a sleek, colourful, and laugh-filled tour de force that hits home the point that the game of love and chance hasn’t really changed all that much over the centuries.

running until may 12th 
at the bluma appel theatre

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