Sunday, November 17, 2013


The world premiers of Theatre Gargantua's The Sacrifice Zone is a beautifully rendered multi layered melange of sight, sound, movement, and superb ensemble acting. Set within an unspecified locale of great natural beauty that is being threatened by corporate enterprise, the narrative focuses upon the lives of various families caught within the allure of money making projects that claim to ultimately renew the land when
in fact environmental nightmares become the only foreseeable outcome. 

Director Jacquie P. A. Thomas has intricately blocked a superb cast into a seamless plot line that blends beautifully with near acrobatic movement that fleshes out a very simple story into a haunting  cautionary tale regarding life and love and how these timeless constructs depend so profoundly upon the welfare of the earth they inhabit.
There are moments when a naive, childlike super hero narrative, and romantic interplay suffer slightly from a lack of emotional detail, and yet the nature of the tale being told is in fact a very clear uncomplicated one that might have been clouded by too much attention to more complex characterization. These are very straightforward people working hard for a living within a very complex and deceptive corporate environment. The ensemble musical vocal work that ties scenes together, combined with the accomplished physicality of all the actors turns Suzie Miller's very direct, interwoven script into a grand theatrical morality tale about the cost of progress and the ways in which we often rationalize our complicit nature by separating our individual actions from what appear to be larger, corporate based  strategies.
Laird Macdonald's lighting and gorgeous projections, Sheree Tam's sharp complimentary costumes, John Gzowski's powerful sound design, with concise versatile set pieces by Michael Spence, create a cohesive and evocative environment for the action to unfold within. Ciara Adams, Joel Benson, Pam Patel, Michelle Polak, and Michael Spence provide beautiful and clear characterizations that fulfill the primary aim of the story.

At great cost to life, love, and the natural sites we choose to inhabit, the self serving sacrifices we make as we manage, exploit, and define those sites comes across as a strong, emotionally charged tragedy made haunting, beautiful, and damned by a team of artists who know that words are not enough. The powerful movement, sound, and shapes created by Theatre Gargantua, signatures traits of the company's multi-disciplinary mandate, are shown to great effect in the current production of The Sacrifice Zone, and continue to secure their place as one of Canada's foremost multi-disciplinary theatre companies.


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