Bar Kapra the Squirrel Hunter
This play is allegorical. It evokes issues about war, about squirrelicide and about betrayal redemption and forgiving. These are very difficult topics but Bar Kopra The Squirrel Hunter addresses them all. Allison Darcy very wisely cast three of the most accomplished actors in this city to tackle the work, and had Zach Fraser design the most enchanting squirrels.
Johanna Nutter, France Rolland and Howard Rosenstein could read a phone book on stage and their combined acting and interpretation would be so compelling I would urge everyone to go see them do it. There lies the real problem. The story of a Squirrel hunter who stops killing all the squirrels because he is fearful of losing his purpose if they all die… well redundancy may be terrifying, but it is difficult to create a moral symbolic universe out of such a tiny issue.
The script is an hour long and the performances are outstanding,, but although the betrayal is truly dramatic, the rest of the play with its red meadows and blue fields leaves one hungry for something more satisfying. It is nonetheless fabulous to spend one’s time watching these particular actors working together. I particularly admired the scene where Tamar is trying to get Bat Kopra to walk. It was the best physical theatre I have witnessed in years. By any standards this is a very fine piece of work to be in a fringe festival and one hopes that with dramaturgy it will grow and deepen. AF
THE INVENTOR OF ALL THINGS
Jem Rolls is a terrific performer and a wonderful writer and in past years he has fascinated me and fringe audiences. This year he has chosen to write a rant about Leo Szilard, a Hungarian Jew who was also a brilliant scientist and knew all the greats, but was always a bit out of step to claim the credit for himself.
The story begins in Hungary and his escape from the fascists into Germany… the one really funny part of the tale. There is a plethora of information and it includes the theory which generates fission and the atom bomb, and that was the problem.
One must harbour a genuine interest in science and be ready to sit through an hour of poorly lit monologue chock full of scientific theory and quite fascinating anecdotal material about a man who was the brightest of them all, and who got no rewards for that.
If science is your thing and you love this kind of endless monologue, you will definitely enjoy the show. AF
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