Sunday, October 20, 2019



Simultaneously bewildering, fragmented, seamless, quirky, and breathtaking, Matthew Mackenzie's The Particulars, similar to his epic play Bears, is led by a lone protagonist surrounded by a dancing chorus of lovely and menacing creatures. 

In this incarnation these exquisite bodies beautifully manipulate the main characters dramatic trajectory as they embody a bevy of diaphanous gender cloaked 'fairies' - buds blossoms angels gorgeous insects - what have you - in a tragicomic romp through the details of everyday life, trauma, coping, and gardening mayhem. 

Simon Bracken's Gordon is an ordinary fellow trying to fit into the gayly heteronormative, secretly porn invested world that his job demands. As Bracken wanders the stage in a loose dressing gown, exposing, covering up, and generally parading his lovely physique here and there, a rippling well toned chest in tow, the overall effect becomes a singly costumed nightwear fashion show of surreal proportions, leading to a denouement and finale that one could never have expected.

Previous productions and promo photos have Gordon wearing 'normal' business attire. The change for the Theatre Centre production renders the  complicit yet hapless victim of skewed heteronormative chaos more fragile, vulnerable, and easy to sympathize with. 

Bracken combines the loose, revelatory clothing with a contrastingly stalwart, almost satiric tone and sharply sculpted, deeply endowed vocal delivery. His phrasing and movement is brilliant, with elements of distractingly effective timing and seemingly random, silent muttering that moves in and out of traditional theatre blocking and direction - ultimately striking one as a dizzying tour de force of acting nonchalance-cum-precision.

Similarly, all of the dancers embody some of Gordon's worst fears as they mourn and run amok amongst  domestic upheaval. They surrond him, circle him, and generally give his playing space a formidable tragi-comic world to frolic, romp, to revile, to live, and to be demolished within. 

Choreography by Alida Kendell begins as a deceptively simplistic accompaniment for the entrance of the man of the hour, yet quickly develops into the sometimes tragic joke of contemporary existence as intricate dance movement - both comically and tragically - beautifully punctuates each and every harrowing particularity involved. And then there is the final unveiling that represents social-sexual disorder at its most predictable, damning, and truly poignant.

The Particulars attests to the intricate workings of a 21st century struggle to stay alive within the ever growing dissonance of the same old social gardens, jungles, offices, hierarchies & particular details that can render life both hilarious and chilling, arboreal and urban.

running at the Theatre Centre until October 26th  

The Particulars is the darkly funny and subtly powerful story of one insomniac’s struggle to maintain a daily routine in the face of a home invasion. Performed as a fusion of dance and theatre, Gordon battles his invaders on two main fronts—in his home, where he believes he is dealing with a vermin infestation, and in his yard, where insects have invaded his garden. 
By day, Gordon forges systematically ahead, assiduously in control of every aspect of his life. But by night, the scratching which he has begun to hear in his walls is unravelling him, driving Gordon to the edge of cosmic desperation. 
Theatre critics across Canada and in New York have been unanimous in their praise for The Particulars.  Called “Smart, strange and stirring,” by the New York Times, “profound” by, and “a revelation” by the Montreal Gazette.
Written & Directed by Matthew MacKenzie
Choreography by Alida Kendell
Stage Management by Kai-Yueh Chen
Set & Costume Design by Alison Yanota
Lighting Design by Kaileigh Krysztofiak
Production Management by Trent J. Crosby
Produced by Sheiny Satanove

Featuring performances by:
Simon Bracken as Gordon
Chorus dancers include Amber Borotsik, Lara Ebata, Bridget Jessome, Richard Lee Hsi, Krista Lin, Rebecca Sadowski and Kate Stashko.
Performance Dates
Approximate running time: 75 minutes
Thursday, October 17 – 8:00pm Opening
Friday, October 18 – 8:00pm
Saturday, October 19 – 8:00pm
Tuesday, October 22 – 8:00pm PWYC
Wednesday, October 23 – 8:00pm
Thursday, October 24 – 8:00pm
Friday, October 25 – 8:00pm
Saturday, October 26 – 1:30pm
Saturday, October 26 – 8:00pm

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