Drama, theatre, film

1180 Ormsby’s summer fundraiser

Ormsby’s summer fundraiser by Richard Mackie * Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Readers of The Ormsby Review, On behalf of The Ormsby Literary Society, its Board of Directors, and our Advisory Board (listed below), we must appeal to our readership for financial assistance. We are most grateful to the 96 donors who contributed to our 2020…
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1125 Greek myths for the age of anime

Greek Mythology: The Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook, From Aphrodite to Zeus, a Profile of Who’s Who in Greek Mythology by Liv Albert, illustrated by Sara Richard Toronto: Simon & Schuster (Adams Media), 2021 $22.99 / 9781507215494 Reviewed Linda Rogers * “He said, she said.” Oral storytelling is like court evidence without benefit of cell…
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1062 Pepper’s ballet and dance

Falling into Flight: A Memoir of Life and Dance by Kaija Pepper Winnipeg: Signature Editions, 2020 $19.95 / 9781773240831 Reviewed by Maria Tippett * In the early 1930s two dancers from British Columbia were invited to join the corps de ballet of Basil’s famous Ballets Russes. The offer came with one condition: Patricia Meyers from…
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1046 Featuring Anne Wheeler

Taken by the Muse: On the Path to Becoming a Filmmaker by Anne Wheeler Edmonton: Newest Press, 2020 $20.95 / 9781774390016 Reviewed by Lynne Bowen * A train has stopped on a prairie siding. A passenger watches through the window as several children play shinny on a frozen water-filled ditch beside the tracks. It is…
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Letters from the Pandemic 11: Dear Sam

Letters from the Pandemic 11: Dear Sam by Cathy Joyce * Dear Sam, As a whole civilization muddles about individually bewildered, bumping into themselves while trying to stay safely apart, I wonder if a wry smile might have flickered on your etched features because you already knew, and have already precisely documented, just what happens…
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#809 From Nanaimo to the Royal Ascot

Nanaimo Girl: A Memoir by Prudence Emery Toronto: Cormorant Books, 2020 $24.95 / 9781770865273 Reviewed by Randolph Eustace-Walden Unless noted otherwise, all images reproduced here are from Nanaimo Girl: A Memoir, by Prudence Emery * Prudence Emery is the eponymous “Nanaimo Girl.” Now in her early 80s and living on her native Vancouver Island just…
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#785 A New World Oliver Twist

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan Toronto: HarperCollins, 2018 $33.99 / 9781443423380 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Since its publication in the summer of 2018, Esi Edugyan’s novel Washington Black has made a resounding impact. Reviews abound; awards and award short listings likewise. Stirring most comment and praise are not just the gripping story line, but…
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#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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#706 Hitting life’s reset button

Scarred: The True Story of How I Escaped NXIVM, the Cult that Bound My Life by Sarah Edmondson with Kristine Gasbarre San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2019; Vancouver: Raincoast Books, 2019 $24.99 (Canada); $27.95 (U.S.)  / 9781797202396 Reviewed by Nathaniel G. Moore * When I was in my undergrad, I took a course on new religious…
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#673 Catalyst of creative fantasy

Susan Benson: Art, Design and Craft on Stage by Patricia Flood Richmond Hill, ON: Firefly Books, 2019 $35.00 / 9780228101772 Reviewed by Celia Duthie * Susan Benson has had a charmed career. For over forty years, as a theatre designer and costumer for stage productions in England and North America, she has been a mistress…
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#670 Novelty at Langham Court

The Risk Theatre Model of Tragedy: Gambling, Drama, and the Unexpected by Edwin Wong Victoria: FriesenPress Publishers, 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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#659 Move over Bridget Jones

A One-Handed Novel by Kim Clark Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin, 2018 $24.00 / 9781987915624 Reviewed by Margot Fedoruk * What is the difference between desirability and disability? Author Kim Clark explores these ideas and more in her fast-paced and farcical work of fiction, A One-Handed Novel. The book’s main character, Melanie Farrell, is a forty-something, face-planting,…
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