“Potosí” – why I didn’t include a trigger-warning, & why I will next time (SPOILERS)

(Note: this piece contains massive spoilers for my show Potosí – there are still three shows left, so if you intend to see any of them & do not wish your experience to be coloured by these remarks, desist reading immediately. Otherwise, carry on.)

 

I didn’t know Potosí was particularly violent until people started telling me it was. Other than the British avant-garde tradition of the 60s & 70s, the theatrical lineage of which I think of myself as being a part must include the 90s of Sarah Kane, the novels of Cormac McCarthy & William H. Gass, all of whom wrote brilliant & impassioned – & controversial – studies in violence. Of these, the most salient is doubtlessly Kane; Blasted was by the far the work most on my mind as I wrote what would become the final drafts of Potosí.

Set against such a backdrop, my own opus seemed somewhat tame & toothless; even no less a mainstream Toronto theatre than Buddies in Bad Times had recently staged the relentlessly violent Pig, & there seemed to be a vogue in the intellectual culture for artistic discussion of what constitutes violence, sexual or otherwise (q.v. for example the success of Kat Sandler’s recent Cockfight, which was itself more-or-less about the inherent violence of males).  When the reviews for Potosí began coming out last week, it was a surprise then, that critics appeared to be deeply struck not only by the darkness of its subject matter – all of which is based on true events – but also the graphicness of the physical violence put on stage. In part this is contextual – after all, the Fringe has not historically been the most conducive venue for dark or challenging subject matter – but it may very well evince hubris on my part.

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Rave review for “Mature Young Adults”!

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A rave review from Mike Anderson over at Mooney on Theatre:

“Walking into Mature Young Adults is, itself, an experience. Videofag has been transformed into an urban forest…”

 “… punches you square in the gut.”

“Colford does fine work, including some excruciatingly (and delightfully) awkward moments, but Haché steals almost everything from him, delicately underplaying a role which could easily get away from a less talented actress. The script calls for her Caitlin to be both vulnerable and assured, upstanding and spineless, and she executes these contortions masterfully.”

“Director Alexander Offord also leaves a distinctive fingerprint. As he recognizes in his director’s notes, this show needs a light touch, a soft focus, an emphasis on gentle suggestion and easing-in, since the alternative would involve beating the audience over the head. (“LOVE THESE CHARACTERS! AREN’T THEY CUTE!”) He delivers exactly that–something far more challenging than many of us realize, but every bit as successful as it was in his earlier Hystericon.”

“…a sound basis for future work both on this show in particular and by this company.”

Still five shows left! Get your tickets at TOTix!

  • Friday Nov. 22 @ 8:00PM
  • Saturday Nov. 23 @ 4:00PM
  • Saturday Nov. 23 @ 8:00PM
  • Sunday Nov. 24 @ 4:00PM
  • Sunday Nov. 24 @ 8:00PM