2020 Wildside Recap: ‘Multiple Organism’

Special Festival Coverage

Centaur Theatre‘s annual independent theatre fest, the WILDSIDE is back for its 23rd edition from January 7th-18th, and kicking off the winter festivities is the mighty recipient of the Centaur’s Best of the Fringe award from the 2019 St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival: Mind of a Snail Puppet Co.’s Multiple Organism.

A stellar reception at this summer’s past Fringe summons back to Montreal Vancouver’s Chloé Ziner and Jessica Gabriel, co-creators of the internationally renowned Mind of a Snail Puppet Co., for an encore performance of one of their more recent feats of theatrical artistry – and this time on the coveted Centaur stage.

Artistry, indeed, is the cardinal word that comes to mind to describe the cunning Multiple Organism, a surrealist, absurdist piece of shadow puppetry devised and performed by the duo of Gabriel and Ziner. Ingenious live video/overheard projections backed by a sublime original musical soundtrack make for a uniquely captivating multi-sensory show about bodies, objectification, and the implied gender binary.

Orifices texturally projected onto unusual surfaces and layered psychedelic designs comprise the singular visual aesthetic of Multiple Organism. In it, puppeteers Ziner and Gabriel give movement to the colourful imagery through an array of whimsical characters – human and otherwise – to explore the concept of bodies, relationships with bodies, and the projections we make about bodies. The show has its “ewww” moments, but its transgressive tone finds a delicate balance with its heartrending bits.

Irreverent, poetic, humorous, and wonderfully unexpected in all its gender-bending turns, there is little to quibble and question as to why Multiple Organism has a spot on the Wildside lineup this year.

Read Montreal Theatre Hub’s original review (penned by Celine Cardineau) of Multiple Organism at the 2019 St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival HERE.

Content Warning: Nudity, Sexual Content, Cartoonish Death/Suicide. 18+

The 2020 Wildside Festival presents Mind of a Snail Puppet Co.’s Multiple Organism
January 7-18, 2020
Centaur Theatre | 453 St Francois Xavier St.
$16 Adults | $13 Students/Seniors/Under 30s
514-288-3161 | www.centaurtheatre.com

For more 2020 Wildside Festival Recaps, visit: 

Camila Fitzgibbon

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