Thanks to Jim Burke at The Montreal Gazette for the review (.pdf): “...on the whole this is a striking, often richly imaginative play, skilfully directed by Geneviève L. Blais."
Thanks to Angela Potvin at Mtl Rampage for the review (.pdf): "I cannot get enough of this type of theatre. The production is slick but not distracting, the actors are as solid as a brick house and the gaze is unflinching on the realities that they are dealing with. It is gutsy, challenging yet accessible, and deeply unforgiving work. I felt vulnerable at the end of this. It deserves to be widely seen. Talisman Theatre, I salute you."
Thanks to Byron Toben at Westmount mag for the review (.pdf):"This play has drawn praise in Toronto and Europe. I would recommend it..."
Thanks to Camila Fitzgibbon at Theatre Hub for the review (.pdf): "...Maintaining its mandate of adapting contemporary French Quebec plays to the English stage (credits to translator Nadine Desrochers for preserving the lyrical quality of Berthiaume’s script), Talisman Theatre is to be commended here for providing a voice for the people of the First Nations and bringing their issues front and centre. Yukonstyle is overeager to simultaneously emote, entertain, and educate... Yukonstyle succeeds in embracing and exploring relevant issues of identity, diversity, and multiculturalism. More vitally, it illustrates the impact of the national tragedy of Canada’s murdered aboriginal women, blowing the whistle on a system that has failed to protect them and on a onlooking society that has left the native community to fend for itself in the most hostile and unforgiving of conditions. Above all, it ignites essential conversations on our search for roots, how we cope with loss, and our glaring need for human connection and intimacy. "
Thanks to Sébastien Bouthiller at MATTV for the review (.pdf) "... Larger than life , la devise yukonaise acquiert un sens inédit dans cette pièce de Sarah Berthiaume, qui s’est inspirée de personnages réels qu’elle a croisés lors d’un séjour dans ce territoire où le mercure chute à moins 45 ˚Celsius. À travers des dialogues crus et des monologues poétiques, l’auteure exprime la résilience de personnages sensibles qui se protègent d’abord d’eux-mêmes dans cet environnement aride. ...Lors de sa création en 2013, Yukonstyle a été présentée simultanément à Montréal, au Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui et à Paris. Une tournée a ensuite mené la pièce sur les scènes de Toronto, Innsbruck, Bruxelles et Heidelberg. Cela confirme le talent de l’auteure pour l’écriture de pièces aux thèmes universels... "
Thanks to Joshua De Costa at Concordia Link for the article (.pdf): Yukonstyle puts spotlight on missing and murdered Indigenous women " It's not merely a review per se because I like to try and fit arts' narratives into what's going on in society today"
Thanks to Jean Hostache at Un fauteuil pour l’orchestre for the review (.pdf): " Yunkonstyle c’est faire la découverte d’un texte puissant signé Sarah Berthiaume, dramaturge québécoise, ici magnifiquement traduit en anglais par Nadine Desrochers. Un texte glaçant, au verbe qui s’articule dans la buée d’un hiver éternel, mais qui envers et contre tout réchauffe les esprits... Portée par quatre acteurs brillants, la mise en scène de Yukonstyle se confond avec la photographie d’un film.... cette adaptation anglaise, parfaitement limpide pour les non-anglophones, nous dérange, nous amuse tant qu’elle nous fait peur. La compagnie du Talisman Theater a parfaitement trouvé le dosage entre l’humour, la noirceur, et le militantisme théâtral, signant une mise en scène forte et sensible."
Thanks to Gilles G. Lamontagne at Sorstu.ca for the review (.pdf): "Évoluant entre trois structures de maisons mobiles pour tout décor (conçu habilement par Lyne Paquette), l’histoire de Yukonstyle est aussi banale que criante de vérité....Quatre comédiens d’horizons différents (Toronto, Collège Dawson à Montréal, Nord de l’Ontario, Université de la Saskatchewan, Réserve Blackfoot du Sud de l’Alberta) défendent le texte avec beaucoup de conviction. On voit tout de suite qu’ils ont été bien dirigés par Geneviève L. Blais... Yukonstyle est mue par une grande force de survie devant les revers de vies sacrifiées, une force admirablement transposée sur cette scène de La Chapelle. "
Thanks to Pierre-Alexandre Buisson at Bible Urbaine for the review (.pdf): "Certains mécanismes dans la mise en scène de Geneviève L. Blais sont plutôt inventifs... le temps file sans que le spectateur s’ennuie. La traduction de Nadine Desrochers du texte original de Sarah Berthiaume est très fluide, et la mission du Talisman Theatre est noble: faire découvrir la dramaturgie francophone à un public anglophone. Les quatre comédiens offrent des interprétations dans le ton, mais on n’a d’yeux que pour Justin Many Fingers, avec sa combinaison de stature et d’intensité, qui semble plus grand que nature. Rarement a-t-on vu un comédien transmettre aussi justement un immense tourment interne."
Thanks to Cally Ravn QDF Blog Design Interview with Lyne Paquette Set Designer (link). Lyne uses First Nations symbolism and a truck camper as the set to transport audiences to a winter in Whitehorse for Talisman Theatre’s latest production.
Thanks to Nathalie DeHan of Radio Centre-Ville, émission Relâche. (Soundcloud): Interview with director Genevieve L. Blais
Thanks to Sarah Deshaies Eric Sukhu and CKUT-UpSTage (Soundcloud): Interview with director Genevieve L. Blais
Me and You (2016)
Thanks Culture plus(.pdf): “The translation works well and shows that the questions of integration and identity affect everyone universally. We are all in one way or another faced with integrating into society and discovering who we really are. The chemistry between the two principle characters was emotionally engaging. The performance and dramaturgy was A1”
Thanks to Mountain Lake PBS for their review (.pdf): Genevieve P.M. Roy Monica Wong in the blog Gen’s Delights Top Picks for This Weekend: May 21st 2016
Thanks to Byron Toben and Westmountmag.ca for their review (.pdf): Me And You captures immigrant confusion: ” The set .. was essentially bare, with many light bulbs hanging or standing on steps, lending a vaguely surreal quality to the whole…The whole is ably directed by NTS grad and teacher Arianna Bardesono, herself from Italy years ago.”
Thanks to Alice Caron and Patwhite.Com (.pdf):"This sensitive interpretation of uprooting is amplified by the staging, as sleek as poetic."
Thanks to Camila Fitzgibbon and Theatre HUB (.pdf): “Me and You” an immigrant’s song of identity and integration : “Me and You” pulls at the heartstrings in playing themes of belonging, acceptance, and connection. This poignant production from the Talisman Theatre company
Thanks to Edit Jakab Facebook cultMontreal (.pdf) : Sincere acting, original and minimalist usage of space, props and costumes, the two young protagonists fills the theatre with realist magic while urging us to ponder the deeper meanings of our sense of self and that of others
Thanks to Charlotte Mercille and Bible Urbaine for their review (.pdf): The minimalist staging by Arianna Bardesono takes us to the heart of a story of initiation or even a autofiction deeply sensitive and the reality of a growing number of "new" Quebec.
Thanks to Anna Fuerstenberg, and Mtl Rampage (.pdf): The actors were very good and Miriam Katrib managed to convey the confusion and pathos of the immigrant first generation with tremendous energy. Kathleen Stavert gave and outstanding performance as the Quebecois girl who befriends Talia, and tries to teach her in one of the most comic scenes how to attract French boys.
Thanks à Radio Centre-Ville, émission Relâche.(Soundcloud) l’entrevue avec d’Arianna Bardesono—metteure en scène.
Thanks to Sarah Deshaies eric Sukhu and CKUT-UpSTage (Soundcloud): Interview with director Arianna Bardesono.>
Thanks to Nathalie DeHan de Radio Centre-Ville CIBL. (Soundcloud): Interview with director Arianna Bardesono.>
Thanks to Julia Bryant and The Concordian for their review (.pdf): "If you’ve never been lost in the depths of the wild forests of Quebec, then Province--a new play staged at the Centaur Theatre--would have been the perfect way to feel like you were. ... It was a hauntingly beautiful piece. It was eerily unpredictable and somewhat confusing--just what you would expect from a dystopian drama which features mutant animals.
Thanks to Arianna Bardesono and her students: "Un énorme bravo, tout d'abord à Stacey, chaque élément de la scène est qualitativement et conceptuellement très bien articulé. Les personnages font un lien efficace entre le monde surréel de la pièce et un ancrage nécessaire avec notre société fragmenté et narcissique. Si j'ajoute le temps que vous tous avez eu pour monter cette pièce j'en suis vraiment impressionnée. La pièce habite un univers très loin du mien, mais hier soir j'ai apprécié cet déplacement ailleurs."--Arianna Bardesono, Teacher, Dawson College.
Thanks to Mountain Lake PBS for their review (.pdf): "Province’s tragic ending helps examine the tremendous resilience of human beings in the face of adversity and offer spectators the chance to reflect upon and contemplate the impact we humans currently have on nature and the uncertainty of our own future with a visionary theatrical approach."
Thanks to Byron Toben and Westmountmag.ca for their review (.pdf): "The critters and revengeful forces are never seen but heard, ethereally voiced off stage by Tristan D. Lalla. Lots of talented local actors in this one."
Thanks to nic and emily of Re:Stage Reviews: "...What the show excels in is the atmosphere of it all ...this sense of impending doom."
Thanks to Lisa Trotto and her students:"I must say this was one of the best plays I have ever seen at The Centaur. My students and I couldn't stop laughing throughout the play (especially when the 'plastic' couple made their appearance). ...It was absolutely excellent and a clear message was delivered through the play. ...Overall, well written, acted and well worth a standing ovation."
Thanks to Jim Burke and The Gazette for their review (.pdf): "Like a Jacobean revenge tragedy of the future, Mathieu Gosselin’s end-of-the-world play Province climaxes with the stage littered in corpses. ...There’s something Jacobean also in Gosselin’s bold use of poetic language, translated here by Nadine Desrochers, and in its wild lurches from the deadly serious to the grotesquely comic."
Thanks to Charlotte Mercille and Bible Urbaine for their review (.pdf): «Sur fond de dystopie écologique, la large distribution livre une performance impeccable qui en dit long sur la nature profonde de l’être humain et son pouvoir d’autodestruction».
Thanks to The Quebec Drama Federation blog Behind The Curtain for their interview with Stacey (link).
Thanks to CIBL for their interview with Stacey Christodoulou: (Soundcloud).
Thanks to Jim Burke and The Gazette, Oct 1, 2015: Mathieu Gosselin's Province spells big trouble ahead in any language (.pdf). "As a play set in a crumbling future, Province is something of an anomaly. Although very much a staple of film and literature, sci-fi dystopias are rarely seen at the theatre."
Artistic Director Lyne Paquette talks about set designing and co-producing the upcoming Talisman/Other Theatre Production PROVINCE (.pdf)
- Author Mathieu Gosselin talks about seeing his play PROVINCE translated and brought to the stage by Talisman/Other Theatre (.pdf)
Director Stacey Christodoulou talks about directing and co-producing the upcoming Talisman/Other Theatre Production PROVINCE (.pdf)
Actor Éloi ArchamBaudoin talks about playing super-bro Brandon in PROVINCE (.pdf)
- Actor Natalie Tannous talks about playing the larger-than-life role of Carole Coach in PROVINCE (.pdf)
- Actor Sabrina Reeves talks about playing the role of Faerydae in PROVINCE (.pdf)
- Davide Chiazzese lets us know a little bit about his performance in PROVINCE (.pdf)
Costume Designer Fruzsina Lanyi shows us some insight into her wild work on PROVINCE (.pdf)
Stefanie Buxton sits down for an interview about her upcoming role in PROVINCE (.pdf)
- Interview: author Mathieu Gosselin (video)
- Interview: actor Éloi ArchamBaudoin (video)
- Interview: actor Natalie Tannous (video)
- Interview: actor Sabrina Reeves (video)
- Interview: actor Stefanie Buxton (video)
- Interview: Costume Designer Fruzsina Lanyi (video)
The Medea Effect (2015)
Synden Hope-Johnston and MTLBlog (February 5, 2015): "The Medea Effect slowly builds on its dark tones and moods until finally brought to the bone-chilling climax, effectively drawing the audience into the very depths of the characters’ inevitable unhinging. Everyone, from actor to viewer alike, is left marked, as though they’ve just barely managed to come out the other side." (More...).
Élie Castiel et SÉQUENCES - La revue de cinéma (4 février 2015): "Si l’on en juge par le poids éloquent des mots, la psychologie incontestablement humaniste des réparties, la teneur vigoureuse du propos et la force des échanges entre deux êtres à la recherche d’une âme, la traduction de L’Effet Médée, de Suzie Bastien, par Nadine Desrochers, est un tour de force admirable." (More...)
Jim Burke and Revue Roverarts (February 03, 2015): "If the plot of The Medea Effect sounds familiar--mysterious actress turns up to audition for formidable female role, confounds male director's intitial scepticism... Ives also brought classical myth crashing into the quotidian world with spectaular results, conjuring up an almighty Aphrodite to crush male presumption under her stiletto heel. (For the record, Bastien’s play predates Ives' by several years)." (More...).
Pat Donnelly and The Gazette (18 October, 2012): "Suzie Bastien's The Medea Effect, however, is an exception. It's contemporary and universal, inspired by Pirandello as well as Euripides. And it offers terrific acting opportunities to a mature woman who knows how to command the stage and a younger man who knows how to hold his own against her. [...] This is actor's theatre (with director Tibaldo as rigorous coach) that hits the motherlode of gravitas required for tragedy. Morehouse is a marvel. Catharsis delivered. Bravo! (More...).
Emma Overton and Cult#MTL (16 October, 2012): "Talisman Theatre's The Medea Effect... is a play that sticks the knife in and twists. ...Nadine Desrochers' seamless translation affords English-speaking audiences access to this dark tale, and makes The Medea Effect a profound example of the cultural experience Talisman offers to the theatre-going community of Montreal. (More...).
Hannah Liddle (October 13, 2012): "Fortunately the lights were off and no one was looking at my face, or they would have seen a gaping mouth and furrowed brow. I was on the edge of my chair and I couldn't help it, only changing my position once to kick my coffee over and receive a look of disdain from the guy next to me. [...] I could hardly wrap my head around the play without wanting to burst into tears. Likely, that sense of overwhelming is the effect of Medea, and I only became one of her many subjects." (More...).
Westmount Examiner (4 October, 2012): "The Medea Effect shimmers with the sparks and flashes of profound insight penned over two thousand years ago but refracted and focused through a contemporary lens." (More...).
Billy–the days of howling (2014)
Pat Donnelly The Gazette(October 17): Parental discretion advised, but rather shown in Billy --With video: "Cloutier's flamboyantly overwritten play sends out a shrapnel bomb's worth of witty, piercing social commentary.".
Fabien Deglise Le Devoir(October 17):"Un Billy sur la barrière linguistique des préjugés" .
Cléo Mathieu Sors-tu? le webzine des sorteux (Octobre 17): Billy (The days of Howling) à La Chapelle--"Une oeuvre drôle, dérangeante et actuelle
Pat Donnelly The Gazette (October 8):Playwright on verge of linguistic breakthrough--Fabien Cloutier's daycare drama set to introduce him to the English theatre-goers .
Alexandre Cadieux and LeDevoir (October 12): (More...).
Mike Cohen interview with Davide Chiazzese: The Suburban(October 16):Talisman's "Billy" is one outstanding play )
Eric Sukhu interview with Nadia Verrucci and Lyne Paquette - CKUT Upstage-(at minute 46:52) October 9)
The Aeneid (2014)
A. Furstenbergand Rover Arts (March 7): "Ancient epic relevant, fascinating, moving".
Christian St-Pierre Le Devoir(March 8):"Marionnette en exil" .
Julie Cler Info-culture (March 9): ""THE AENEID", flash sur le monde"
Katheryn Greenway The Gazette (March 7):Puppets guide The Aeneid's epic voyage--Virgil's classic tale of a man in search of his homeland still has meaning today .
Gaetan Charlebois and The Charlebois Post (February 26): (More...).
Jeanette Kelly interview with Marcelo Arroyo and Deena Aziz, FB page: CBC Cinq a six(March 7):exploring the refugee experience with puppets )
Eric Sukhu interview with Chimwemwe Miller - CKUT Upstage-(at minute 10:40) February 27 )
The Medea Effect (2012)
Pat Donnelly and The Gazette (18 October): "Suzie Bastien's The Medea Effect, however, is an exception. It's contemporary and universal, inspired by Pirandello as well as Euripides. And it offers terrific acting opportunities to a mature woman who knows how to command the stage and a younger man who knows how to hold his own against her. [...] This is actor's theatre (with director Tibaldo as rigorous coach) that hits the motherlode of gravitas required for tragedy. Morehouse is a marvel. Catharsis delivered. Bravo! (More...).
Emma Overton and Cult#MTL (16 October): "Talisman Theatre's The Medea Effect... is a play that sticks the knife in and twists. ...Nadine Desrochers' seamless translation affords English-speaking audiences access to this dark tale, and makes The Medea Effect a profound example of the cultural experience Talisman offers to the theatre-going community of Montreal. (More...).
Bernard Wheeley and Voir Montreal (14 October): "C'est le théâtre dans le théâtre. La démonstration que le théâtre influence des vies. Voilà qui est très intéressant. Deux personnages, Ugo et Ada reconnaissent l'effet de Médée sur eux. Suzie Bastien offre un texte riche, très humain. Une belle matière pour des comédiens de talent. Jennifer Morehouse (Ada) impressionne par la profondeur de son jeu. Elle porte sur ses épaules tous les malheurs, toutes les douleurs, toutes les blessures qui ont marqué son personnage, Morehouse a une très forte présence sur scène, présence à laquelle Eloi ArchamBaudoin (Ugo) répond de belle façon par un jeu énergique et nuancé." (More...).
Daniela Smith Fernandez and Bloody Underrated (14 October): "Deceptively, the show appears at first to be a rudimentary allegory... instead, the play addresses these expectations dead on, and then continues to slowly unravel the layers of cliches and simplistic explanations. ... This transition towards the intimate and personal is represented through a shift from naturalistic dialogue to highly stylized and expressive movements, due in no small part to some achingly beautiful sound and lighting design by Matthew Waddell and David Perreault Ninacs. ... This is a polished piece that reaches profound levels of psychological complexity. ... That said, it's an innovative professional show with great performances, and one that makes use of all the elements in its theatrical toolbox. (More...).
Thanks to Lois Brown "I don't think there have been any reviews yet - but here are some from people who have seen it "C'était une magistrale première!", "ce texte incroyable", "Haunting" and from me: "A tough, and lyrical rendering of an intense text." Talisman's work with translation is rigourous, yet Emma and Lynn bring a singular and strong aesthetic to the text. And the exploration is new. Important work - important to see." (More...).
Joel Fishbane and Charpo-Canada (October 13): "Emma Tibaldo has never been shy when it comes to her thoughts on Medea, the famed murderess of Greek myth. 'She's always been a hero to me,' says the artistic director of Playwrights Workshop Montreal, one of Canada's longest-running play development centres. It's a bold statement, given that Medea murders her own children to enact revenge on a faithless husband. But Emma Tibaldo sees it as something more then just an act of infanticide. 'She's a hero to me because of her willingness to do something extra-ordinary to get justice.'" (More...).
Hannah Liddle (October 13): "Fortunately the lights were off and no one was looking at my face, or they would have seen a gaping mouth and furrowed brow. I was on the edge of my chair and I couldn't help it, only changing my position once to kick my coffee over and receive a look of disdain from the guy next to me. [...] I could hardly wrap my head around the play without wanting to burst into tears. Likely, that sense of overwhelming is the effect of Medea, and I only became one of her many subjects." (More...).
Anna Fuerstenborg her epic grumble (October 13): "The play Medea has always been problematic; it involves betrayal of epic proportions and tragedy that is earth shattering. ...But Jennifer Morehouse gives an amazing performance... " (More...)
TWEET (Oct. 12 7:00 am): @kellyculture @cbcdaybreak from all of us at Talisman Theatre for the 6:50 interview with Emma Tibaldo http://www.talisman-theatre.com TIBALDO: "It is an extraordinary story! Suzie Bastien allows us to accept the unacceptable through this play. She makes us understand why this woman does what she does and she also makes us understand why we are so fascinated with Medea. Also, from a Director's point of view: Why is this story so important? Why do we choose to go see it? Why do we like to see a trainwreck? Why do we want to find out the horrible things about humanity? What is it that drives us to that point? And once we have the information: What do we do with it? What do we do with that emotional catharsis? Where do we go with the pain that we carry when we find out about these stories?"
Pat Donnelly and The Gazette (11 October): "...The Bacchae [plays] as part of Centaur Theatre's Brave New Looks selection. (Friday, Oct. 12 is the official opening.) Meanwhile, Talisman Theatre launched The Medea Effect, a Quebec take on Medea by Suzie Bastien, translated into English by Nadine Desrochers, Thursday, Oct. 11 at Théâtre La Chapelle. A key difference between the two being that The Medea Effect is a deconstruction of the Greek play, twice removed by translation, while Scapegoat Carnivale's Andreas Apergis has dug into the original ancient Greek texts to get at the truth of The Bacchae" (More...).
Francois Nadeau and Le Messager Verdun (10 Octobre): "C'est la première fois de la Verdunoise foulera les planches avec la compagnie Talisman Theatre. Cette dernière a travaillé en télévision, théâtre, cinéma et doublage de films d'animation depuis une vingtaine d'années. Elle a obtenu plusieurs nominations au cours de sa carrière, en particulier du côté du théâtre, incluant une citation pour le prix Dora et deux pour le prix Betty Mitchell" (More...).
Emily Rain and Cult#Mtl (October): "The complex psychological drama about forgetting, isolation and the powerful figure of the mother riffs on Euripedes' classic Medea, a tale of a woman's revenge after her husband's betrayal and a meditation on trauma." (p.27)
Pat Donnelly and The Gazette (5 October): "Talisman Theatre actually specializes in producing English translations of French-language works. Its mandate is to bring 'the visceral intensity of Québécois theatrical practices to non-francophones.' [...]The Medea Effect is little known in francophone Montreal, having only been produced in French in Quebec City, directed by Marie Gignac, in 2005. [...] Thus Talisman, which was founded in 2005 by Emma Tibaldo and current artistic director Lyne Paquette, is encouraging Montreal audiences to embrace a playwright (Bastien) who is respected in Quebec literary/theatrical circles--and in Europe--but hasn't yet found her place on Montreal stages" (More...).
Westmount Examiner (4 October): "The Medea Effect shimmers with the sparks and flashes of profound insight penned over two thousand years ago but refracted and focused through a contemporary lens." (More...).
Alexandre Cadieux and Le Devoir (2 octobre): "Ce sont des passeurs, de nécessaires contrebandiers de biens culturels. Grâce à leur travail, combiné aux initiatives de quelques autres, le mur étanche divisant les scènes francophone et anglophone à Montréal s'effrite par petits éclats. Des mains se tendent au-dessus du fossé et des invitations sont lancées, ébranlant un peu la frilosité du public et des médias à l'égard de celui d'en face." (More...).
Jeanette Kelly and CBC Radio One's Cinq à Six a great interview (29th September)! "Another approach to funding: Talisman Theatre's upcoming production of The Medea Effect was made possible through on-line crowdfunding." (More...).
Stan Asher and Davyn Ryle, hosts of Arts Notebook on CINQ Radio Centre Ville. Listen to Jen Morehouse describe her experience in the role of 'Ada' in The Medea Effect, September 29: (More...).
Pat Donnelly and The Gazette: "Yet so much is accomplished with so little money by anglo theatre artists here. And the upcoming season looks exceptionally strong. Check out the video clips below taken at the Monday, Sept. 17, Quebec Drama Federation fall calendar launch". 'Ada' (Jen Morehouse) is at the 41 sec mark. (More...).
Lisa Winston and CFMB's Chai Montreal a great interview (6th September) with Talisman Theatre's Artistic and Executive Director, Lyne Paquette, on her background, the background of the company, our upcoming play The Medea Effect, and the success of our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo (More...).
Eric Sukhu and The Charlebois Post (August 20): PAQUETTE: "It's more a discussion of Medea; a story within a story. A director is speaking with an actress who has just crashed the audition. He's looking for a Medea. She wants to play Medea; we learn that her life is similar to Medea..." (More...).
Lark Play Developement Center, New York, and their hotINK Festival inviting author Suzie Bastien and translator Nadine Desrochers to a workshop of her stunning translation of The Medea Effect (More...).
Coma Unplugged (2011)
Pat Case his review 'Time to wake up: Talisman Theatre's new production is "hilarious and poignant"' in The Concordian, October 26: "ArchamBaudoin deftly handles the embittered Daniel... Braganza summons Marjorie's desperation, rage and frustrated love with ease, burning brilliantly... Glover gives a flawless performance as a doting, talkative mother... Chimwemwe Miller gives a solid performance... The hilarity of Donovan Reiter's character belies a wounded, frustrated divorcee... Perhaps most notable is the elaborate set designed by Lyne Paquette. ...Coma Unplugged is a contemporary jewel." (More...)
Marilou Craft her review in PLEIN ESPACE, October 26: "L'équipe de Talisman Theatre propose somme toute une production respectueuse de la vision de l'auteur. Tremblay suggérait que l'action se déroule dans l'appartement de Daniel, un décor « pas réaliste, plutôt cubiste, surréaliste en point de fuite, post-traumatique, petitement apocalyptique », proposition que l'équipe de concepteurs respecte à la lettre. Le décor, une structure imposante et anarchique, permet des entrées en scène surprenantes et comiquement inusitées. Le détail des accessoires et des costumes est réjouissant, travaillé avec le souci évident de créer un univers « cohérent avec l'inconscient de Daniel Martin », selon la sommation de l'auteur." (More...)
Cecile Mouly her review on Citeeze Montreal, October 25: "A first-class cast drives us through a multiplicity of emotions. ...Éloi Archambaudin plays Daniel exquisitely. ...Pierre Michel Tremblay's English translation has been beautifully written by Micheline Chevrier." (More...)
Anna Fuerstenberg her review in Rover, October 25: "The acting was flawless. Eloi Archambaudoin was riveting as Daniel. ...Glenda Braganza was spectacular as Marjorie and her performance made the play come alive. ...Susan Glover gets comedy, and ...was manic to within an inch of credibility and understood with great instinct the need for 'set up and delivery'. ...Chimwemwe Miller had the thankless part of Ishouad, the Twarek [sic] warrior, but his physical presence was enormously charming and worth watching. ...Donovan Reiter ... played his macho gazpacho part with great energy. ...The set was terrific ...Furthermore, the lighting and sound were great and the costumes worked very well. ...Talisman should be congratulated for their efforts, especially on the fantastic cast." (More...)
Chris Liu his review in the McGill Tribune, October 24: "It's a terrible thing to watch a mind go to waste. Yet Pierre-Michel Tremblay's Coma Unplugged makes it so infectiously fun... Talisman Theatre's latest production is proof that when you mix a sharply written script with a cast whose energy knows no bounds, magic occurs. [...] Coma Unplugged makes the most out of its discombobulation. The voyage through Daniel's fracturing mind is one fraught with side-splitting laughter and deep introspection: in other words, a perfect night out." (More...)
Bernard Wheeley his Review on Voir.ca 23 octobre 2011: "'Am I a failure?' Voilà la question existentielle à laquelle doit répondre Daniel Martin (Éloi ArchamBaudoin) avant de décider de revenir ou non à la Vie. ...Je m'en voudrais de passer sous silence la superbe prestation D'Éloi ArchamBaudoin. ...Ayant vu les deux versions de « Coma Unplugged », je peux affirmer que celle-ci m'a davantage amené au coeur du drame. J'ai bien apprécié. On peut le dire sans crainte, « this show is not a failure »." (More...)
Estelle Rosen, @estellemontreal, her Review 'Into The Head of Another', October 22, in The Charlebois Post (Canada): "Director Zach Fraser sees breaking the boundaries of reality as an opportunity to present a story both comic and potentially tragic. [...] A reflective play with more depth than we would initially expect - humourous with an underlying edge - touches on meaningful issues without hitting you over the head with a message. [...] Kudos to Éloi ArchamBaudoin for eloquently embodying the role of Daniel Martin." (More...)
Al Lafrance his Review on Bloody Underrated 21 octobre 2011: "From the moment I walked into the room, I loved what I saw. Lyne Paquette did a great job with this set... This space was used incredibly well throughout the play... Oh, did I forget to mention that? I got hit in the throat with a baseball during this play, and I still loved it. That's gotta say something about the quality of the performance, no?... They put on a great show, brought huge amounts of energy to the room, and made this 95 minute play feel like it took place in about 20. ...Tickets are 25$... and they're definitely worth every penny. This is one of my favourite plays of the year, easily, and I hope you all go see it." (More...)
@gcharlebois and @CharPoCanada their Tweets: "Review: Coma Unplugged, gorgeous play with magnificent lead actor"; "Review: (Montreal) Coma Unplugged - brilliant lead actor in this mix of reality, dreams and imagination".
Richard Dagenais of Global's Focus Montreal his interview which airs at 5:30 pm on October 22: "Montreal's Talisman Theatre is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a performance of 'Coma Unplugged', translated from the original French production written by Pierre-Michel Tremblay. Director Zach Fraser and actor Eloi ArchamBaudoin talk about the show." (More...)
Pat Donnelly her review 'Coma Unplugged reaches higher consciousness' in The Gazette, October 22: "Fraser and company have tuned in to Tremblay's wacky wavelength in a way that makes Coma Unplugged hilarious as well as timely, intelligent and provocative. [...] At about one hour and 45 minutes, Coma Unplugged could use some trimming. But make no mistake: Talisman Theatre has a hit on its hands. Get your tickets now." (More...)
Rachelle Glait of the Segal Centre, her kind comments on Facebook: "Saw the play last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Haven't stopped thinking about it. Terrific performances!"
Jeanette Kelly (JK) of CBC Radio One's Daybreak (with host Mike Finnerty [MF]) her interview with Zach Fraser (October 21, at 6:50 am): "ZF: You could say that there are different aesthetics that are explored often in French versus in English, and in particular, Pierre-Michel Tremblay's writing... he's very fantastical. It's surreal in a way. ...MF: Reimagining the male mid-life crisis... a lot of that happens in Quebec actually. ...JK: Absolutely. Young male mid-life crisis. A kind of Occupy Wall Street mid-life crisis." (More...)
@QuebecDramaFed QDF's Tweet: "Just saw @TheatreTalisman 's Coma, unplugged. Really cool show! Lots of laughs, thoughtful design, strong cast. Go, you'll enjoy till Oct 29".
Amandla's Afrah Aden October 2O interview with Chimwemwe Miller (1:22 min into the clip). "He will appear in the play Coma Unplugged, as Ishouad the mysterious Touareg warrior. Coma Unplugged delves into controversial subjects including cultural appropriation and stereotypes of Africans." (More...)
Estelle Rosen, CharPo and Stephanie Breton their October 10 interview with Chimwemwe Miller who stars as Ishouad in Coma Unplugged. (More...)
The Suburban, 7 October 2011, their article 'Staging a Coma' on Coma Unplugged (page 13). (More...)
Pat Donnelly the mention in The Gazette, September 21: "Another presentation that grabbed attention was that of Talisman Theatre, which will present Coma Unplugged, by Pierre-Michel Tremblay, from Oct. 20 to 29 at the Conservatoire d'art dramatique et de musique. Susan Glover played meddling mama while Éloi ArchamBaudoin handed out date bars. Hilarious." More...
Neil Boyce his mention of Coma Unplugged in the MIRROR's 'Fall Arts Preview', 15 September 2011. (More...)
PERSONAL TESTIMONIALS :
"Coma Unplugged is an engaging show that successfully achieves a fine balance between entertainment and reflection: on a mini-budget in a little-known venue, time at Coma Unplugged was better-spent than at some of the more renowned French theaters in Montreal that offer bleakly tragic, unbalanced productions. Talisman's production proves that a text "full of meaning" can be fun to see! With a beautiful very relevant set."
--Anouk Looten, Board of Directors APASQ, Montreal.
"I loved it. Smart play, bold production, Funny, weird, big good energy. Fantastic sound design (all design elements, actually) Strong directorial hand. Congratulations."
--Kim McCaw, Equity Councilor, Edmonton.
The Flood Thereafter (2010)
Thanks to Maurice Podbrey for his heart-warming praise for THE FLOOD THEREAFTER: "The whole production was delightful - a thoroughly enchanting evening. The playwright has achieved something rarely seen in the English language theate - a story told in magical terms and brilliantly excecuted by the director and designers and the performers. My sincere thanks to all." (More...)
Walter J. Lyng of The Suburban his interview with Emma Tibaldo, the Director: "Few fairy tales are inspired by small town strip clubs but when playwright Sarah Berthiaume was on a recent road trip, this is exactly what happened. ...Despite being a fantasy on the surface, Tibaldo says the aim of the play is to deal with real world issues. "[I'm trying to] begin a conversation about what stripping means to women, to the world, to men and how we deal with it," she says." (More...)
Thea of orcasound, her descriptive review: "The set, designed by Lyne Paquette was extremely interesting visually. On its own, it looks like the broken hull of a shipwreck, with the different pieces representing different locations in town. The floor was scattered with kelp-like 'wigs' that Homer's wife, Penelope (Felicia Shulman) was often working on in the background, and that June would pose with when she stripped." (More...)
Val Cardinal of The Concordian, her insightful and eloquent review of THE FLOOD THEREAFTER: "Production company Talisman Theatre specializes in bringing Québécois theatre to the anglophone stage. The show is more risqué than most English productions, and definitely not for those shocked by nudity, both male and female. However, the nudity is never gratuitous and unnecessary; it emphasizes the themes of the mystical show, which is well worth a look." (More...)
Bernard Wheeley his kind words on THE FLOOD THEREAFTER: "Je reviens du spectacle 'The Flood Thereafter' ému, touché par cette fable de Sarah Berthiaume magnifiquement bien traduite par Nadine Desrochers, qui a eu l'intelligence de laisser, ici et là, du français dans les moments les plus touchants. J'y ai vu trois superbes comédiennes : Amélia Sargisson, Catherine Colvey (magique) et Felicia Shulman. Les comédiens masculins ont également bien joués." (More...)
Thanks to Kent Stetson had these words to say about THE FLOOD THEREAFTER (October 15): "What's the syndrome where people faint in front of great paintings? You knocked me completely off-kilter. Again. Beautiful direction... note/tone/colour perfect. Great lighting. And fabulous seaweed. Loved the human/bird/fish/ship-rib set." (More...)
Kent received the 2001 Governor General's Literary Award for The Harps of God and was appointed to the Order Of Canada in July 2007.
Amie of Midnight Poutine her great review of THE FLOOD THEREAFTER (October 16): "It may take a long time for this story to feel like a fairy tale, but once the magic kicks in you'll be held in a mermaid's snares until the end." (More...)
Robyn Fadden of The Hour including THE FLOOD THEREAFTER in The Hour's Hit List: "Twisted fairytale meets feminist theory in a fishing village on the lower St-Lawrence River where all the women have been driven away, in Talisman Theatre's The Flood Thereafter..."
MJ Stone for THE FLOOD THEREAFTER in The Hour (16 October): "Post-modern and poetic, Sarah Berthiaume has weaved an oddly compelling and maddening scenario that is as murky and bold as the wildest fisherman's tale. Much of the play's intent is revealed between the lines and the ta-da moment, when everything suddenly made sense, didn't hit me until hours after." (More...)
Christine Long of CTV the clip of THE FLOOD THEREAFTER that the station screened (October 16): "The Flood Thereafter adds class to small-town strip bars when it equates the dancers with mermaids and how both know how to entrance a man."
Yves Rousseau of Le Quatrième his excellent review of THE FLOOD THEREAFTER: "Avec le Déluge après, Sarah Berthiaume interroge de mythologie la féminine identité, dans une iconoclaste tragicomédie métaphorique et poétique bien d'aujourd'hui." (More...)
Evelyn Reid of the Montreal Theatre Guide her thoughtful review of THE FLOOD THEREAFTER (October 16): "[It] is way out there as a modern-day fairytale, delightfully so, opting out of the usual cookie-cutter good versus evil ideology typical of the folktale genre." (More...)
Pat Donnelly (again!) her half-page review of THE FLOOD THEREAFTER in The Gazette, and to Pierre Obendrauf of The Gazette, the excellent video! "This reviewer is not a fan of staged poetry, with exceptions made for the likes of William Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas and Carson McCullers. Few writers can write a good play and good poetry at the same time. Berthiaume, a recent theatre school graduate, has certainly made a game try. She has a flair for imagery and lyricism." (More...)
Pat Donnelly her piece on THE FLOOD THEREAFTER in the Montreal Gazette on opening day (October 15th). "Talisman Theatre was born to build bridges. Its mandate is to introduce new French-language Quebec plays to anglophone audiences via translation." (More...)
Alex Woolcott his review of the opening night of THE FLOOD THEREAFTER in Rover Arts: "The play is reminiscent of a Shakespearian romance--those strange plays that exist somewhere between comedy and tragedy--and so it is appropriate that the text seesaws between heightened poetic language and rougher, more colloquial prose." (More...)
Rock, Paper, Jackknife… (2009)
"Recently, I took a group of my theatre students to see 'Rock, Paper, Jackknife....' This play presents us a difficult, disturbing and beautifully poetic text, as Perreault attempts to create a new hybrid language for her characters to traverse the labyrinth of their dysfunction. In the discussing the play in the subsequent week in class, the students grappled with how the author is asking us to question the very nature of language, and--even though the play was set in a nebulous time and place--she is making a comment on a volatile political and cultural topic that affects each of my students' daily lives. I was once again struck how vital a medium theatre is to our society."
--Andrew Cuk, faculty member of the Department of Theatre and Music at John Abbott College.
"Over 32 days following the arrival of the stowaways, everyone descends deeper and deeper into Arctic hell, within a beautifully designed, corrugated metal shack that doubles as a classroom and a living space. ...the performaces are admirably ernest and energetic. Manning and Davis, in particular, are often riveting."
--Pat Donnely, The Gazette, Montreal.
"'Rock, Paper, Jackknife...' ...will have you twisting in your seat as playwright Marilyn Perreault explores the perversion of the human mind and the extremes it is capable of ...the play has a profound message about solitude and the human mind. Originally written in French, the play is masterfully translated by Nadine Desrochers and well directed by Emma Tibaldo."
--Enrico Quilico, The Concordian, Montreal.
"This is a play which goes to a very dark place in human experience and it resonates with the worst and most savage results there. It is an edgy and very postmodern work which challenges the audience to follow the drama down to its horrible conclusion. It was Lord of the Flies on ice with alcohol and glue sniffing thrown into the mix."
--Anna Fuerstenberg, Rover Arts, Montreal.
"The world is full of people who spend their time quietly doing amazing things. ...Emma Tibaldo is one of these subtle superheroes. ...Leaping building-sized themes is what theatre does best, but 'Rock, Paper, Jackknife...' goes even further. The script stretches language itself by twisting grammar and using words in unconventional ways. The result is a more visceral and innocent form of expression. ...All in a day's work for Tibaldo and her Talisman sidekicks."
--Brett Hooton, The Hour, Montreal.
Down Dangerous Passes Road (2008)
"Talisman Theatre won the Anglophone Theatre Prix de la critique award of the 2008-2009 season for its production of Michel-Marc Bouchard's Down Dangerous Passes Road, directed by Emma Tibaldo at Théâtre La Chapelle. It prevailed over Wajdi Mouawad's Scorched and Bryden MacDonald's With Baited Breath, both seen at Centaur Theatre."
--Pat Donnely, The Gazette, Montreal.
"Dans la catégorie Théâtre anglophone, le Prix de la critique est remis à DOWN DANGEROUS PASSES ROAD de Michel Marc Bouchard (traduction Linda Gaboriau), dans une mise en scène de Emma Tibaldo, une production du Talisman Theatre. D'une appréciable sobriété, ce spectacle s'appuyait avant tout sur le jeu de l'acteur. Graham Cuthbertson, Marcelo Arroyo et Patrick Costello ont livré des interprétations sensibles et nuancées. Dans une scénographie aussi dépouillée qu'évocatrice, le moindre de leurs déplacements était chargé de sens. En se mesurant dans la langue de Shakespeare aux auteurs francophones contemporains du Québec, et qui plus est avec doigté, le Talisman Theatre pourrait bien contribuer à réunir les deux solitudes."
--Christian Saint-Pierre, président AQCT.
"As automobile accident plays go, Michel Marc Bouchard's 'Down Dangerous Passes Road' rises above, into the ethereal. And the Talisman Theatre production of this poetic work, translated into English by Linda Gaboriau... does an admirable job of bridging the cultural gap that often hinders French-language Quebec plays from making a smooth transition into English [...] With this kind of play, less is more when it comes to staging. Lyne Paquette's set, which consists of giant sheets of parchment, with words scrawled in longhand, is just right. These 'pages' serve as screens for cinematic images that enhance the intense dramatic confrontations. In some ways this modest effort outshines the original French production... [...] Director Emma Tibaldo has delivered a meaningful introduction to a lesser work by the playwright..."
--Pat Donnely, The Gazette, Montreal.
"Watching the clash of two very different theatre aesthetics--both the highs and the lows--makes for a fascinating 90 minutes. [...] Director Emma Tibaldo is most at ease with the naturalist elements offered by the text. The actors are riveted to each other, devouring their linesand spitting them back out with tremendous energy. [...] It won't be giving away the ending to report that 'Down Dangerous Passes Road' is a cri de coeur for the sacred superiority of art, because at some level, that's what most contemporary Quebecois plays are about. Talisman's attack is boldand imaginative. Watching the dueling aesthetics, one has the feeling the effort of translation is in equal measure hopeless and essential, and therefore, quite a good reason for doing theatre"
--Marianne Ackerman, Rover Arts, Montreal.
That Woman (2007)
"Directed by Emma Tibaldo, the production unites a group of talented veterans under the umbrella of Talisman Theatre, a cooperative formed to put on Quebec plays in Montreal not yet seen in English. Good news indeed, and it comes not a moment too soon to help fill a gap in the pure-laine anglo playgoing experience"
--Mat Radz, The Gazette, Montreal.
"[D]ozens of new French plays come out each year, and then there's all the stuff from past years that never got picked up for English language production. That's where 'That Woman' and Talisman productions come in. As indie theatre companies go, this one is fairly high-powered. It was started by hot young director Emma Tibaldo and fellow NTS graduate, designer Lyne Paquette"
--Amy Barratt, Mirror, Montreal.