Ellen McLaughlin's surreal Cold War pas de deux between a Stasi male interrogator and an American woman accused of being a spy, set in an East Berlin prison. An appropriately Strindbergian take on Stockholm Syndrome. James Kidnie brought his always riveting presence to bear, and Barbara Nicholson had a gift for embodying an intense physical-theatre style which was effective here.
Canadian Premiere at The Nathan Cohen Studio, YPT.
“Artistic Director Jon Michaelson has mounted some of this city's most exciting productions in recent years. His dynamism is still evident here.
He gives the interrogation sequences the feverish desperation or silky menace they require. As well, there's a satisfying authenticity to James Kidnie's steely questioner and Barbara Nicholson's pathetically defiant prisoner. The mood is further enhanced by Gabor Zsigovics' simple evocative set: shiny metal grillwork, a spartan desk, venetian blinds, a battered chair.”
Henry Mietkiewicz, Toronto Star
“The play has scenes which introduce theatrical virtues – a dream sequence in which Ilse sees her interrogation as a clown scene, with her giving her tormentor wonderfully witty answers…. Michaelson stages this scene with physical inventiveness, having the actors riding, twisting and comically parodying each other. In other parts of the play he contrives clever images - the two dancing, she held to him by arms handcuffed around his neck...”
Ray Conlogue, The Globe & Mail
Directed by JM
Set: Gabor Zsigovics
Lighting: Hatem Habashi
Sound: Marc Chretien
Photography: Richard Quinlan