Last night i attended the second performance of Po Production’s most recent endeavour “Goodnight Desdemona (Good morning Juliet)” written by Ann-Marie MacDonald. I must say that i was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the acting, staff and general performance (though the Mainline theatre is officially a dump).
the show was very nicely put together. a farce, that plays with stereotypes, refrained from going over the top and being that little “too much” that always turns my stomach. the actor’s managed to maintain that they believed their own seriousness at all times (well, except the return of the “humourous” character that appears in every play with Kelly Rigole have seen thus far and found mildly funny in Henry IV: Part One, un-necessary in At the Crossroads, and just tedious in this production. My Mum thought it was funny, but, then again, she hadn’t seen the same “character” twice before). The costumes were appropriate and a lot of fun to look at (thanks to the McGill theatre department) though obviously a nightmare when it came to changing backstage. the audience had no inkling of this logistics issue. well done!
i especially enjoyed the portrayal of the chorus by John McNeish-Hastings which stroked my pretentious, elitist sensibilities just enough to force me to actually maintain focus on the pompous psycho babble. Though i will not go into details about the performance of each actor, i will commend them all on a job well done. It was a highly professional job for an upstart theatre company run by a highly-motivated group of students. Definitely worth my $7 student rate ticket.
Synopsis of the play: “What would happen if Juliet’s and Desdemona’s death sentences were reprieved?In this exuberant revision of Shakespeare’s Othello and Romeo and Juliet, Constance Ledbelly, a dusty academic, deciphers a cryptic manuscript she believes to be the original source for the tragedies, and is transported into the plays themselves. She visits Juliet and Desdemona, has a hand in saving them from death and finds out what they are all about. In true Shakespearean spirit, Constance plunders the plays and creates something new, all the while engaging in a personal voyage of self-discovery. With an abundance of twists, fights, dances, seductions and wild surprises, the play is an absolute joy.
Roll Call: John McNeish-Hastings (Chorus/Ghost), Lindsay Petts (Director), Angela Potvin (Lighting Designer), Kelly Rigole (Desdemona/Mercutio/Ramona/Servant), Kristen Witczak (Constance), Jimmy Blais (Iago, Romeo), Elisabeth De Grandpre Stage Manager, Patrick Kwok-Choon (Professor Knight/Othello/Tybault/Nurse), and Yaelle Wittes (Student/Soldier/Juliet/Set Design).
Unfortunately, Po Productions does not have a website i can refer you to. i suggest you make the show if you are in the greater Montreal area over this week-end. Details can be found below in the graphic.