Running a little late with this one…but hey, what else is new? At least I’m running, right? I could certainly use the exercise. And Happily, there’s still a whole week left to catch this particular production, so no harm no foul. And catch it, by the way, you definitely should.
The show is THE PLAYERS ADVICE TO SHAKESPEARE, a new work from Brian K.Stewart being world-premiered by the gang at New Theatre Ottawa, over at Arts Court. The second show in their inaugural residency season following DREAMS OF WHALES, this rather astonishing one-manner is directed by company founder John Koensgen, and stars the absolutely rivetting Greg Kramer as the Player in question. A member of Wm.Shakespeare’s theatre troupe back in the day, Kramer’s unnamed actor is a big-talking, rabble-rousing idealist, who gets his chance to put his actions where his words are when word of a series of lower-class uprisings reaches London. When things start to go South, as lower-class uprisings have an historical tendency to DO, our hard-luck hero finds himself on the run, alone, and struggling to make it back to London to confer with the legendary Billy Shakes one last time.
The company compares the events of the play to modern-day happenings like the OCCUPY movement, among others, and the comparison is apt. But political hot-buttons aside, it’s the performance that makes a one-man show, and Greg Kramer (last seen on Ottawa stages in TWELFTH NIGHT at OSSD, and CREATION at the NAC) makes this one to remember. Watching him anxiously recount the Player’s tale is to be transported right along with him…I felt like I was watching one of the great masters at work, and I suppose I really was. Ottawa is mighty lucky to have an actor like that in a piece so perfectly suited to his talents…New Theatre has managed a perfect little storm of story and storyteller here, folks, and you’d be quite frankly out of your minds not to catch it while you have the chance (not that I think we’ve seen the last of Greg and the Player…it’s just too good).
Sorry this one is so short…I still don’t feel quite back into the swing of bloggery after my week of sickiness. But, I’m getting there. Or not. We’ll see, hey? In the meantime, lots of good shows in town this week (GIANT INVISIBLE ROBOT, WE WANT LIFE, THIRD TIME LUCKY, THEATRE OF THE FILM NOIR, as well as this amazing piece), so no excuses, unless you’re as sick as I was last week. Get on out there, and have some fun. Peace, love and soul,
The Visitor (and Winston)