Bone Cage

Ten years have passed since the original publication of Catherine Banks’ Governor-General winning drama, Bone Cage. In recognizing this decade-old milestone, Matchstick Theatre, has undertaken the task of bringing Banks’ complicated work to the stage. Under the direction of Jake Planinc, Bone Cage succeeds as a pensive, ambitious affair, replete with both hits and misses. 

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Taylor Olson

Set in the rural Nova Scotian countryside where forestry is king, Banks’ opening moment is one of stark, clear-cut decimation. At the heart of this damage is Jamie (Taylor Olson), a wood-processor for a lumber factory, who, after his work is done, sits and muses on the carnage perpetrated by him and his clear-cutting woodsmen. For Jamie, work and death is synonymous, cyclic, inevitable trap; seasonal work begets a life of inescapable dependency. Jamie is torn with his position in life; while he despises the duplicitous, unreliable nature of his occupation, Jamie alternatively cannot summon the courage to start a new chapter outside the only community he has ever known.

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Jessy Matthews, Katie Dorian (left to right)

As we quickly and vividly learn, Bone Cage’s supporting cast are the root of Jamie’s situation. Every relationship and interaction spiderwebs and collides with each other, miring him further into an uncertain future. Jamie’s emotional obligations come out in stressful spades. There’s his strained relationship with his half-sister Chicky (Jessy Matthews), the fear he harbours towards providing for his starry-eyed, young future-bride Krista (Katie Dorian), violent encounters involving his best friend Kevin (Sam Vigneault), and dealing with a drunken husk of his father Clarence (Sébastien Poissant Labelle), who is unable to overcome the death of his favourite son. 

While an entertaining venture, Bone Cage’s biggest flaw is director Jake Planinc’s establishment of the play’s themes of subtlety and bare-bone anguish as cornerstones for his play’s actors to draw their inspiration. The result is an imbalance that Bone Cage continuously finds itself fighting against. Characters exist in emotional flux, jumping from 0-10 between moments of poignant introspection to full out profane screaming matches. Whereas some actors handle these emotions more capably than others, the end result is a sacrifice of a deeper emotional range that would have given the show further dimension.  Yet, for the few moments of wooden delivery and issues getting their characters clicking into their rightful place, the team behind Bone Cage captures fantastic moments of grim poetry, cathartic discovery, and compelling grief that does honest justice to Catharine Banks’ beloved work.

 

 

 

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Symphony In Space With Chris Hadfield

February 20, 2017

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The moment Chris Hadfield took to the stage of the Rebecca Cohn Theatre, the room filled with applause. After reading up on the decorated Colonel’s past achievements, it is not hard to see why the man is held in such high esteem. One of the first Canadian space shuttle crew members for NASA, Hadfield has gone on to work with iconic space projects such as Canadarm, Mir, and the International Space Station. He has been on three separate space expeditions, orbited Earth 2600 times, and has published three books just for good measure, making him a household name for Canadians.

Click below to read full article at Halifax Bloggers:

Symphony In Space

Heavy

The Bus Stop Theatre continues its new season of its Re-Fringed event with Taylor Olson‘s outstanding one man show Heavy. Over the course of an hour, Olson takes the audience on a powerful, introspective journey whereby his autobiographical story entailing drastic weight loss and weight gain is unfolded in vivid and unforgettable detail. 

Click below to read full article at Halifax Bloggers:

Heavy

Major Motion Picture

 

Interpretative dance is an interesting creature in that it is offered a greater degree of freedom than its fellow artistic counterparts. As such, therein lies the question: how interpretative can interpretive dance be before sacrificing coherent narration?

Read full Halifax Bloggers article here:

Major Motion Picture