The Suicide is dark farce that sees Semyon Semyonovitch’s misspoken thought about killing himself spark an onslaught of manipulative pleas from unscrupulous characters to see it happen, for the right reasons.
Director Pierre Brault tells you why you should see The Suicide.
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The Suicide is a Russian farce about the unemployed and slightly pathetic Semyon Semyonovitch who makes an off hand remark about killing himself that starts a mad avalanche of intellectuals, artists, forlorn lovers and unscrupulous businessmen who convince him to do it and try to manipulate his death to their own ends. This is a great play, with a really solid cast. Drew Moore deserves special mention for his performance as Semyon Semyonovitch, a lovable loser who can’t even bring himself to commit suicide properly. There are a lot of good laughs to be had, thanks to a lot of larger than life characters. The script is very funny, with slapstick and absurdist humour, and the actors really know how to take advantage of it.
At times, you may feel the length of the play –just about 90 minutes with no intermission- but the show is so enjoyable as to make it worth it. When one scene ends you’re already wondering what’s going to happen next. And the intricate little set is well made to switch between a small apartment to a restaurant to a funeral plot in a meadow. The Suicide has set the bar for the rest of the festival and is definitely a show you shouldn’t miss. Solid four.
What did you think? Did you agree with our rating? What did you love, or not, about this play? And what rating would you have given it. Tell us in the comments below.
This play did set the bar for the rest of the festival -way to steal my tweview, Kurt- and really is one of those must see shows. It’s always a treat to see a play written by an established playwright and put on by a company of trained professionals, where you can tell they’ve really done the work to polish the content – and while there’s definitely a place for diamonds in the rough and less mainstream fare at Fringe festival, it’s no less a treat to sit down for a play like The Suicide, which is both funny and dramatic and serious as often as it is hard-to-take-it-serious.
The actors are all wonderful, even though most of the characters are unsavoury. They all have some strong moments from Dyna Ibrahim’s Sarafima trying -poorly- to tell a joke to cheer Semyon up to Hannah Gibson Fraser’s Margarita’s cold stand-off with Semyon’s wife Masha, but a couple of them are worth extra mention. Caitlin Corbett’s gypsy-like beauty-obsessed Cleo is captivating every second she’s on stage. Mitchel Rose’s Alexander is charming and smarmy and the same time as he’s vile and despicable. And the beautiful and talented Victoria Luloff who plays Semyon’s wife Masha, is one of the few likeable characters in the play and carries herself exceptionally from the extreme highs when things look like they’re turning around to the extreme lows when she believes Semyon is dead such that you truly feel her pain.
So yes. This is one of the plays I’m championing this year. Acting. Comedy. Drama. Cool stage design. High four.
– by Allan Mackey
Photos for this article taken for Production Ottawa by Production Ottawa photographer, David Pasho.