Dining with Journalistic Drama : Review of While Rats Eat Pie.
Imagine yourself sitting at a large table. It’s a dinner party, but you’re surrounded by strangers. The table-cloth is a deep crimson red and the stark white plate settings stand out against the contrasting colour. Wine glasses are empty, but anxious to be filled. The lights are dimmed. Naturally, there is an abundance of uncertainty in the air, but guests are excited none the less. Our host, an ex-war correspondent for the Yugoslavian wars, is fiddling in the kitchen preparing himself for the dinner. As people arrive, and the table places fill, the time for adventure draws closer.
While Rats Eat Pie! Perhaps these words mean little to you now but, I assure you, by the end of this article you will be itching to have the extraordinary interactive theatre experience I enjoyed and somewhat “endured” last weekend.
While Rats Eat Pie is an interactive theatre performance exploring the traumatic aftermath for journalists who covered and reported the war during the breakup of Yugoslavia. A rather heavy topic for what most would consider typically to be a positively social occasion, however it was a chance to really experience the issue explored rather than simply viewing them from afar.
The dinner party starts with a bang as our host swings into action welcoming guests to his home. But this, my friends, is just the beginning. A whirlwind of an emotional adventure, this hour and a half interactive performance dives into the topic from the get-go. As diners toast to celebrations of peace and survival with traditional Yugoslav liquor and enjoy a home cooked meal of pasta and pie, we are thrown into the dark depths of this journalist’s past experiences as his stresses and confusion come to light. Traumatised by the memories of war, lost love and his obsession with Survivor, this man’s reality is like none other I have experienced before. Especially, at the dinner table.
Written by Artistic Director, Colin Lalonde and actor Chris Bell, this Studio Porte Bleue immersive theatre production is certainly one to be embraced. Confronting issues of PTSD treatment and the associated affects, see first hand into the heart and mind of this lost soul as he struggles to grip the realms of his reality.
While Rats Eat Pie is performed at Studio Porte Bleue at 7 p.m. from Thursdays to Sunday until October 26. Shows seats a maximum of 13 people and tickets are available online here or by phone, 514 772 8071. Tickets are $30 or $25 for students and seniors.
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Thank you for the review! Correction: The piece was co-written by both Lalonde and Bell.