Drama & theatre

#778 On the road with Sir Kenneth

MEMOIR: On the road with Sir Kenneth by Grahame Ware * Recently we published Grahame Ware’s review of Horn Swoggled: A Play by Armstrong playwright Ken Smedley: see The Ormsby Review no. 762 (March 5, 2020). In a follow-up email, Grahame described his intense and productive artistic friendship with Smedley in the mid-1990s, when the…
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#762 Bard Smedley of Armstrong

Horn Swoggled: A Play by Ken Smedley Vernon: Rich Fog Micro Publishing, 2019 $25.00 / 9781988707211 This book is available via Canada Post from Ken Smedley, PO Box 323, Armstrong, BC, V0E 1B0 for $25, which includes postage and handling Reviewed by Grahame Ware * First, a word or two about the playwright. Born in…
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#670 Novelty at Langham Court

The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy: Gambling, Drama, and the Unexpected by Edwin Wong Victoria: Friesen Press, 2019 $19.79 / 9781525537561 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * The most interesting observation in this book on tragedy by local author Edwin Wong concerns Hamlet. Hamlet’s problem, says Wong, is that he is obsessed with certainty and can’t…
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#618 The deeper language of women

Women’s Writing in Canada by Patricia Demers University of Toronto Press, 2019 $34.95 / 9780802095015 Reviewed by Linda Rogers * They used to throw women artists in mental institutions, our radical behaviour disruptive to the norm. Across the street from my house, there is a half way home for mentally challenged adults, the victims of…
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#610 Secwépemc playwright honoured

Honouring the Strength of Indian Women: Plays, Stories, Poetry by Vera Manuel (author) and Michelle Coupal, Deanna Reder, Joanne Arnott, Emalene A. Manuel (editors) Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9780887558368 Reviewed by Diana French * Vera Manuel (1949-2010), actor, playwright, poet, drama therapist, and healer has been honoured with an anthology of…
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#490 Applauding a forgotten play

The God of Gods: A Canadian Play by Carroll Aikins, edited and with an introduction by Kailin Wright University of Ottawa Press, 2016 $29.95 / 9780776623276 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy First published Feb. 19, 2019 * Although a remarkable piece of British Columbia’s theatre history played out not far from where I write and was…
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#408 Grizzly twins and latter-day saints

Gracie by Joan MacLeod Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2018 $16.95 / 9781772012026 * Thanks for Giving by Kevin Loring Vancouver: Talonbooks 2018 $19.95 / 9781772012187 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Editor’s note: Ginny Ratsoy reviews the latest work of two of B.C.’s top playwrights, Joan MacLeod (born 1954) and Kevin Loring (born 1974). MacLeod teaches at the…
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#344 Three curative plays of B.C.

First published Aug. 15, 2018. The Cure for Death by Lightning: A Play Adapted from the Novel by Gail Anderson-Dargatz by Daryl Cloran Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2018 $18.95  /  9781772012057 * Talker’s Town and The Girl who Swam Forever: Two Plays by Nelson Gray and Marie Clements Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2018 $18.95  /  9781772012019 Reviewed by Ginny…
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#157 From stage to page

First published Aug. 16, 2017 REVIEW: All the World’s a Stage: The Story of Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach By Jayne Seagrave Victoria: Heritage House, 2017. $29.95  /  9781772031768 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy *   In All the World’s a Stage, Jayne Seagrave has provided a history of Bard on the Beach, Vancouver’s well-known outdoor…
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#148 Pacific Theatre almost homeless

First published July 8, 2017 By Carol Volkart Everything about the Pacific Theatre is modest — from the low-ceilinged lobby with its island of couches around a coffee table, to its urns of self-serve coffee (regular or decaf), to its 128-seat alley-style theatre where a spectator who needs to leave during a performance must be…
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