META-award winning company Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre presents the visually stunning production “Bar Kapra: the Squirrel Hunter”, directed by Andreas Apergis. This thought-provoking tale brings to light a different way of viewing the world and touches on moral dilemmas about loyalty and forgiveness.
“Bar Kapra: the Squirrel Hunter” takes place in a minimalist yet eye-catching set of a forest (designed by Patrice Charbonneau-Brunelle) with striking video projections (by Philippe Blanchette and Andreas Apergis) of Mount Royal (which were taken throughout the course of six months), thus really situating us in the story’s outdoor setting. The space is well-used throughout the course of the show by the actors and the film footage doesn’t distract or take away from the action onstage. It truly feels that every place in the theatre is a different setting in the play’s fantastic world.
Here we follow the tale of three woods people: Bar Kapra (Chip Chuipka), the self-proclaimed squirrel hunter; Bat Kapra (France Rolland), who bags the bodies; and Trout (Jennifer Roberts), the young protégé who disposes of them. All actors beautifully play off each other with great chemistry all around. When Bat Kapra discovers that Bar Kapra cannot finish his work for fear of losing his purpose in life, she confronts him only to be shot by Bar who runs off believing that he killed her. Trout finds a wounded Bat, assists her in her recovery, and promises to help her punish Bar for what he did. Eventually, Trout also ends up meeting and making a conflicting commitment to Bar, ultimately finding herself facing the dilemma of having to honour two separate vows.
The script itself, written by Joseph Shragge, is poetic and has a handful of subtle jokes and humour in the way the scenes play out and the lines are delivered. In some instances the play can be a little difficult to understand due to its allegorical nature, but it doesn’t take away from the overall concept of shifting morality and whether it’s truly better to forgive and move forward rather than spend the rest of your life seeking vengeance.
Review by Montreal Theatre Hub Contributing Editor Bryan Libero
Catch the viscerally enchanting “Bar Kapra the Squirrel Hunter” at Studio Jean-Valcourt du Conservatoire, 4750 Henri-Julien until March 13th. For tickets, go to www.admission.com or contact the box office at 514-873-4031 ext. 313
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