Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Responses to the Four Horsemen Project here and here (and promised here). I tend to feel overwhelmed by all but the most minimal of live performances, so I don't have anything overly articulate to say, but I found this performance superficial in its push toward spectacle and pointlessly repetitive. I admit my attention was divided because I kept wondering how Paul Dutton, who was in the audience, felt watching what seemed to me to be a watering down and glitzing up of his and his collaborators' work (see Gregory's allusion to the Phantom of the Opera). It seemed to me as if, for the Volcano Theatre, the Horsemen are merely a 'weird' moment in Canadian literary history. There did appear to be something interesting going on relating to a reframing of the Horsemen's work by a culture that better acknowledges its diversity than the one the Horsemen worked within, but this didn't seem especially well worked out. Maybe strip the show down (i.e., consider what purpose the technology and stagecraft is serving), justify or lose the campy costumes, and go from there.

P.S. Maybe I'm dead wrong and Dutton loved the show.

Further note on the weekend: I did get a chance to see, and really liked, this. Also, I'm going to keep an eye out for more work by Adam Brown, whose hand-drawn and elongated foolscap (I think it was called Lines and Margins) at the Mercer Union members' show was both elegant and hilarious.


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