Wildside Festival – DAY 3 Double Review: ‘The Village’ and ‘A Perfect Picture’

The 20th Annual Wildside Festival, running from January 5 – 15, 2017 at the Centaur Theatre, is “the hottest two weeks in winter” in Montreal with its eclectic lineup of cutting edge indie theatre. With seven stimulating shows to choose from, we’re attending all of this year’s festival’s opening performances to provide you with a roundup of reviews to help you decide which acts to see. Stay tuned to this page for updates – new reviews published daily!

Read the reviews from DAY 1 & 2 here

Buy tickets online at www.centaurtheatre.com
or call the Centaur Box Office at 514-288-3161


(Shows opening on Saturday, January 7th, 2017)

(Photo courtesy of the Wildside Festival)

The Village

Having originally received its world premiere at the Firehall Arts Centre in Vancouver in 2015, ‘The Village’ is among several of productions in the Wildside lineup to play to Montreal audiences for the first time. A one-woman show conceived and performed by Tina Milo and directed and dramaturged by Dijana Milošević, the story’s glowing centrepiece is a middle-aged Serbian immigrant and former successful actress who now finds herself a married mother living in Canada. Life, as it turns out, hasn’t unraveled according to plans, and her disconnection from family, community, and self has led to a gravely intimate affair with depression.

Drawing on personal experiences and heritage, Milo attempts to explore the profound reasons and complex circumstances that lead women to relinquish their dreams and hopes, painting a mosaic of the modern gender roles that they can be confined to. She is mesmerizing, certainly, and her crescive revelation of her character’s fragility arouses deep sympathy. While commendable for her courageous vulnerability, however, something doesn’t quite hit the mark for us – perhaps because many of the play’s themes, images, and metaphors seem shopworn. Nonetheless, the amalgamation of physical theatre, film, and live music in the piece provide enough sensory stimulation to keep us engaged.

For anyone who’s ever fallen into the abyss, you’ll know “it takes a village.”

When to see it:
Sunday, January 8th at 7:00 pm
Tuesday, January 10th at 7:00 pm
Friday, January 13th at 7:00 pm
Saturday, January 14th at 2:00 pm

Show length: 50 minutes

(Photo courtesy of the Wildside Festival)

A Perfect Picture

It won the Kit Brennan Playwriting Award at Concordia University and reaped a “Best Solo” nomination at the 2016 Montreal Fringe, markedly placing young local artist Laurent McCuaig-Pitre and the 32-Hour Theatre Company on the radar. Now, ‘A Perfect Picture’ spreads its wings and makes a poised landing at the Centaur in what is decidedly our most cherished production from this edition of the Wildside thus far.

In a snapshot, the riveting one-man-show featuring none other than McCuaig-Pitre is a homage to the late Kevin Carter, a young South African war photojournalist and Bang Bang Club member who rose to fame in 1994 for his Pulitzer Prize-winning picture of a vulture calmly biding its time beside an emaciated Sudanese child during her final breaths. Haunted by vivid memories of human suffrage and shattered by the loss of his best friend and colleague Ken, however, his honour is obfuscated by moral contentions, and he ultimately finds himself in the deliberation of whether “to be or not to be”.

Although the synchronicity and coherence of the production elements help develop ‘A Perfect Picture’ (a bow to sound designer Joseph Browne and costume and lighting designer Tricia Moore), it is McCuag-Pitre’s distinctive character work and enthralling storytelling that fully holds us captive (an ovation for director Ed Roy and dramaturg Jesse Stong as well). While intentionally heightened in theatricality at times, there is a grounded and instinctive quality to the performance that renders it hypnotic. It’s disturbing, it’s acerbic, and it’s provocative – but exhibitionism perhaps keeps one’s attention from ever veering away.

A darkly humorous and relevant piece that exposes the most harrowing of global conflicts and private inner turmoils, the beastly ‘A Perfect Picture’ sets the bar sky high at the Wildside.

When to see it:

Sunday, January 8th at 3:00 pm
Thursday, January 12th at 7:00 pm
Friday, January 13th at 9:00 pm
Sunday, January 15th at 9:00 pm

Show length: 60 minutes

Buy tickets online at www.centaurtheatre.com
or call the Centaur Box Office at 514-288-3161

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