An immortal Mary Magdalene, drunk and homeless, stumbles into an AA meeting to clean up her act? A geneticist wakes up one morning with a box on his head and decides to clone himself to get to the bottom of it? Yes, indeed. Those are the premises of the two plays that make up Evolution Theatre’s double bill.
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Still not convinced? Why not check out our video and photo preview to help you make up your mind?
What did you think of these shows? Join the discussion and tell us in the comments below.
And for lovers of the written word, here’s the review script in print form:
An immortal Mary Magdalene, homeless and drunk, crashes her way into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to try and clean up her act? Yep. That’s the set-up for Mary Magdalene and Adventures in Sobriety. Like you’d expect, the play includes a lot of religious allegory telling the story of the only female disciple and in some circles the secret wife of Jesus Christ. But to put your mind at ease, the allegory, and the play wasn’t written in a way to parody, poke fun or otherwise blaspheme against the church. Whether you’re Catholic, Atheist or anywhere else on the spiritual spectrum, you’ll be able to relate to what’s really a very human story about a woman trying to cope.
The only character in the play, unless you count Malchus the house plant, is Mary M herself and one woman shows are especially hard. The full weight falls upon one actor, not only to be on stage for an hour plus, but to fully keep an audience’s attention for the duration. Fortunately, in this case, that responsibility falls to Nancy Kenny – who happens to be one of the most talented, passionate, and endearing actors straddling two cities (she divides her time these days between Ottawa and Toronto).
Kenny becomes Magdalene, carrying you through both the playfulness and the angst of a woman tormented even this 2,000 years later by the events surrounding the Son of God’s death. She’s taken to drink and stumbles into an AA meeting, which is where she meets Betty -12 years sober- who might be her last chance for salvation.
The play itself, is kind of theatre in the round in reverse with the show taking place on all sides of the audience on or between four mini-stages set up in the lobby of Arts Court Theatre. In that way, the audience serves the play as the other members of the alcoholics anonymous group and a real part of Mary’s story.
And we move on. Sadly, on the night we were there, [boxhead] ended up cancelled so we can’t exactly review it and give you a first hand but we will see it and we will review it and we will post it right here when we do!
UPDATE: Sadly, each time we tried to get out to [boxhead] was an evening that it was cancelled. The run was a shorter one that expected because of health concerns for one of the actors. We wish him the speediest of recoveries.
Photo for this article taken for Production Ottawa by Production Ottawa photographer, David Pasho.
Video production courtesy of Valley Wind Productions, produced by Allan Mackey.
Reviewed by Allan Mackey with on camera presentation by Matthew Champ.