(Posted 12:30 p.m., June 13)
theatre production sheer brilliance
By Fred Sherwin
of the characters in the ENCORE! theatre company production of 'the lost
one' try to wrestle a toy hand granade away from the
youngster in the final scene. Fred Sherwin/Photo
went to see the ENCORE! theatre company production of "the lost one"
and I can honestly say that I'm not really sure what the play is all about,
but I'm not sure it really matters because what I witnessed was one of the
most brilliantly well-written and entertaining plays the company of young
actors has produced in years.
one" is based on a photo of a boy holding a hand grenade. That's right,
as strange as it sounds the play was written by the six cast members after
their instructor and the play's director Emily Pearlman brought a Diane
Arbus photograph entitled "child with toy hand grenade in Central Park"
into one of their first classes..
I'll try to provide
a loose synopsis of what they came up with. The play is about a young boy
who has relationship issues with his father. He's also visited by so-called
"night people" who infiltrate his imagination.
raised about his father and the sincerity of their relationship which leads
him to Central Park where he meets several odd characters who ignore his
calamity until he pulls out a hand grenade and threatens to blow them all
up before everyone realizes its merely a toy.
The action is
orchestrated by a bizarre character referred to as the Toymaker who seems
to enjoy the boy's mental anguish as he struggles with his own preconceptions
about what is the truth and what is not, or at least that's my take on the
may interpret the plot differently, which is one of the interesting things
about the play.
who plays the Toymaker, says he's heard as many variations about what the
play is about as there has been audience members.
came up to me after the first night and said he thought it was about mental
illness, which I had never thought about before, so it's kind of neat that
it can be interpteted in so many different ways."
absolutely incredible in the role of the Toymaker. I couldn't take my eyes
off him during the production and I hung on every word that came out of
his mouth. His portrayal of the Toymaker actually reminded a little bit
of Roddy McDowell in "A Clockwork Orange".
But what's really
great about "'the lost one" is that the other actors don't get
lost in the script or vershadowed by McDougall's brilliance because they
are all brilliant in their own right. I loved Jeysa Pratt who plays the
bag lady, and Eric Morlang, who plays the man in the tree, was great as
well as was the rest of the cast that includes Katie Cunningham, Alison
Capuano, Patrick Villeneuve and Lewis Caunter.
The play is truly
a collaborative effort that relies on improvisation which helps make every
performance unique in its own right. I can only imagine the fun the actors
had both in producing the play and acting in it.
With their three
performances at the Orleans Théatre out of the way, the cast is busy preparing
for their upcoming appearance at the Ottawa Fringe Festival which
gets underway on June 18 at a number of downtown venues. Showtimes are Sunday, June 28and June 27 at 1:30 p.m. in the University of Ottawa's Academic
The play is a
perfect match for the festival which explores the boundaries of live theatre
and tries to broaden just a little bit and I highly recommend taking the
time to go see it. For more information about this year's Fringe Festival
was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
to Front Page