Saturday, July 21, 2012
Review: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs (Winnipeg Fringe)
by Nanette Soucy
Apple geek or not, people ought to be lining up for this show like it was launching the iPhone 5. An adaptation of Mike Daisey’s controversial Monologue, lambasted for daring to apply dramatic license to a creative work, I was initially incensed during the opening scene where four actors sat in their chairs reading from their scripts, thinking that the piece should have been billed as a dramatic reading. However, true to the aphorism that the way in which a thing is made is part of its design, by the third scene, the company had sneakily begun re-writing the code of our paradigms of effective presentation, our relationships to our gadgets, and the people that make them. District Theatre Collective are sharp, focused, and clean like all good Apple design, if unfortunately lit to match their fruity and bulbous aesthetic of the late 90’s. The actors tease each other on stage, and master the tales they’re telling with such a thorough understanding that for a moment I was certain they’d been to China with Daisey on his now infamous trip. Whether or not the stories Mike Daisey’s telling us can be taken for actual fact is irrelevant. As the Brechtian quote that carries the show reveals, art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it. Sometimes, we have to fudge the truth to reveal it.