The Argosy came out today so I'm going to post the review of "The Sniper". Enjoy! It's really snowing outside, I think now we are really getting into the winter season. You know what that means - Christmas is right around the corner. YAY!
Dreaming Absurdly: Tintamarre's Tuer Sans Gages (The Sniper)
by: Stacy-Leigh Bullens
"Well, he never liked critics." To subject a Eugene Ionesco play to criticism, be it constructive or not, seems an act of treason. Under the circumstances, however, one must excuse my obvious indiscretions as I attempt to do just that, review a Eugene Ionesco play. If you can appreciate the theatre of the absurd, then you would have thoroughly enjoyed Windsor Theatre's presentation of the Eugene Ionesco play Tuer Sans Gages (The Sniper). If, however, you find absurdity confusing or irritating, you would most likely have been left with a lukewarm feeling from the performance while being thoroughly intrigued by the interesting set and costume design.
The play opens with a rather unusual yet extremely necessary explanation of the concept behind the drama given by the playwright himself - Eugene Ionesco (J.P. Wood). The researcher (Ilse Kramer) and Ionesco have varying interpretations and their disagreement is symbolic of the ever present obscurity for the audience who cannot envision, much less comprehend, the theatrical interpretation before them and are left with inaccurate notions of what a play was or should have been. This bilingual show's opening proved both interesting and useful to a unilingual spectator's understanding of the play.
Berenger (Greg Santos) is asleep on stage at the opening of the play and Ionesco explains that the play in itself is Berenger's dream of an ostensibly utopian city. His guide through this strange place is "the Architect" played by Nathon Pilon, who humourously portrays the busy man responsible for the construction of the "Radiant City." The grim reality belying the perfect facade of this city emerges as Dany (the woman with whom Berenger falls in love) is murdered by a mysterious stranger. Valmai Goggai's portrayal of Berenger's beloved contributes to the absurdity of the piece, as he find her biting comments to the architect, her employer, "sweet."
Following his rude awakening at her death, Berenger becomes distraught at the evil pervading the city. As he attempts to gain some rational explanation of his own ominous perceptions, Berenger is met with indifference. Even the police, the defenders of evil, contemptuously address him as he tries to convey his fears of the evil, a killer who not only threatens to destory this Radiant City but his own world. The rude gestures, grotesque masks and deep voices of the police made them as terrifying as the killer they refuse to pursue. The killer seems to embody his own fears at life while seeming indifference of others symbolises the inability to gain empathy toward one's own apprehensions.
As in any intangible dream, the costume design was relevant, as all of the characters on stage - with the exception of Berenger and Ionesco - are masked. The use of the colours white and silver in costume and set design were quintessential to the notion of the Radiant City, giving it a divine aura. The lighting concept excellently portrayed the mood and tone of both the play and its principal character. The presence of evil and Berenger's increasing apprehension at this foreboding atmosphere was evidenced with the changes in lighting.
Greg Santos as Berenger performed well, while Stacy Macaulay (his best friend Edouard), and Genvieve Madore's Mere Pipe both provided humour and political commentary. Both cast and crew are commended for creativity in what was, all things considered, a good play.