Monday, January 6, 2014

Review: (Montreal) Big Shot (WildSide)

Here’s your Big Shot: a cinematic snapshot of a tragedy
Jon Lachlan Stewart is an elegant whirligig of energy 
by Sarah Deshaies

A shot rings out in a cabin of the SkyTrain.

Over the course of just over an hour, the bullet’s story will be revealed by those touched by it: who shot it, who provoked it, who witnessed it, who it struck.

Big Shot, which has toured in several festivals, including the Toronto and Winnipeg Fringes, is an intricate story woven by performer, playwright and Edmonton native Jon Lachlan Stewart. 

The show’s genesis comes from one day Stewart spent in downtown Vancouver, when certain actions, details and people got the cogs in his mind going. Stewart's mission was to craft a snapshot of his view of Vancouver by setting a fictional shooting on the city’s automated rapid transit system.

As the playwright mentions in a note in the program, the decision to depict an urban shooting is prescient, considering the number of fatal clashes between police and civilians that have marked our country in the last few years: Fredy Villanueva, Sami Yatim, Robert Dziekanski, among others. Shows like Big Shot remind us that a thousand minute details and human stories lurk behind the headlines. 

Stewart adeptly portrays six connected individuals who are impacted by the altercation, including a wide-eyed boy, an elderly Japanese florist, and a twitchy reformed junkie. Blending in dance and slow-motion sequences, the show is a dazzling intersection of stories, bringing to mind Paul Haggis’s 2004 film “Crash.”

To call Big Shot ‘cinematic’ is a smidgen of an understatement; the story is steeped in the language and imagery of action blockbusters. The lighting and sound design elevates a  solo show to a revealing, haunting urban tale. And while it drags at times, Big Shot is a prize pick to see at WildSide.

Big Shot is at WildSide

Running time 75 minutes
Read also Jon Lachlin Stewart on Big Shot

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more. This is one of the best plays I've seen in ages. Go and tell ALL your friends!


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