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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

An Evening with The Queen... Mary, Queen of Scots, that is...

This weekend I was happy to take in The Passion of Mary at Theatre Network.  I always love to see new works by local playwrights and as this is the first show I have seen written by Annette Loiselle (from her bio I even think it might be her first) I was quite impressed by her voice.  It must be challenging to be both playwright and lead actress of a play. Loiselle handles both those challenges well.  She had a great team to work with as Bretta Gereke's set is so cool and Glenda Stirling's direction is really tight and magical.  Sian Williams, who shares the stage with Loiselle in a variety of roles, shifts effortlessly from accent to accent and body to body. I loved the way she seemed to appear and disappear - that was the magic part.

I like plays like this that make me think.  This certainly challenged what I thought about Mary, Queen of Scots, but to be fair, I mostly know about her from the Phillipa Gregory books and Gregory's Mary is quite a bit different than Loiselle's.  It was interesting to think about Mary as a person, as opposed to a political figure.  Of course, as soon as I get home I had to google her and spent about an hour looking up stuff on Wikipedia.  But I like that.  I like a show that sticks with me and pushes me further. My companion and I did have a wee chat about the accents, as Mary does not have one.  We figured the choice to not have a defined regional accent was for two reasons - first, what accent to use since Mary was raised in France but many might expect Scottish, but then what would that sound like; second, to make Mary more humanized, as this was a personal story not a historical one, the lack of regional accent made you connect more with the person.  At least, that's what we decided.  I don't know if that's why they made that choice.

Anyhow, it's a good show.  If you like that period, or if you like well-directed and well-designed shows with two strong female actors, or if you enjoy seeing new work, or if you like to be challenged... lots of reasons to check it out.

* Photo by Marc J Chalifoux Photography

* This marks show #42 of my 2012 Theatre Goal

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