Love U Lovecraft by The Other Theatre is a surrealistic something (experience? Yes.) that will draw you straight into another world. A world without color or meaning, but that still has a tragedy to it. A slow drawing out of your life, if you will. Loosely, very loosely partly based on H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Color out of Space”, this movement-heavy play will draw you into a grey world where you might be dead, and you just don’t remember it yet. What’s great about this is that you get that feeling of the impending madness. You get that isolation. It’s a fascinating piece and I really enjoyed it.
In the director Stacey Christodoulou’s words, “Lovecraft’s main characters are always in this kind of existential dread at the state of a meaningless, amoral universe. This was something very thought-provoking for his time. Now it is part and parcel modern thought. Physics has given us space travel and the nuclear bomb. Yet despite what science tells us, we’d like to believe that things happen for a reason – that is very much part of a Western Christian philosophy – and that goodness will be rewarded and evil destroyed. So we live with these irreconcilable philosophical concepts in a state of cognitive dissonance. However, terrible things do indeed happen to good people and criminals do often get away with murder. This Manichean philosophy is just not realistic in a post-modern world and yet here we are with extreme fundamentalism around us, in both politics and in religion.”
“How do we deal with unfairness and the unknown – we invent stories, we invent scapegoats, we invent superstition. Think of the witch trials where so many women were tortured and killed – it actually drove the economy. (…) It was woven into the fabric of the thought of the day. How can people lose their minds in this way? We’re still trying to explain it to this day and we still don’t have an answer – that drives a whole industry, as well.”
“In the Lovecraft story, The Colour Out of Space, that we took as our inspiration for this creation, the story is very simple: a comet falls from outer space onto a man’s fertile farm land. It gives off a colour, a presence, making everything on the farm grow strangely and then it destroys the land, the animals and the people on it. It drives them mad before they disintegrate. It very much is a modern retelling of the Biblical story of Job. Why does this happen to this good man and his family? There is never any explanation.”
The performances are very involved, it having been a collective creation, and while a few of the characters are not really defined or definable, it is an interesting experience to let it wash over you and to watch the main couple unravel into madness in this creepy old house. A special note of appreciation to the lighting designer David Perreault Ninacs, whose unorthodox shadowing really added to the atmosphere and to actor Marc-André Goulet, for being such a menacing presence throughout. Personally, I would have toned it down on the sound design, which felt like it was taking a lot of space, but all in all, an excellent show and I recommend it highly for the more adventurous theatre goer.
Now playing at Theatre La Chapelle (3700 St-Dominique) from March 22 – April 2, 2016, tickets priced between 25.50-37.50$ and available here .()