Thursday, February 13, 2014

Review: (Ottawa) Ciseaux (Undercurrents)

Two Lives Entwined
Some people are forever bound together…for better, or for worse
by Robyn Lester

There are some heavy themes at work in Lisa L’Heureux’s Ciseaux. Political upheaval, child soldiers, even sex trafficking. It’s all there, playing out before our very eyes, forcing us to consider the realities of our world.

Ciseaux follows two young girls, Phanie and Olivia. When we first meet these characters they are eight years old. Phanie is loud and abrasive. A bully. Olivia is quiet and timid. An easy target for Phanie. But every action has a consequence, and it just so happens that the choices they each make affect the other in unimaginable ways. And with that we are pulled from the comfort of the classroom and thrown into a world of war and child soldiers. 

Performed in French, I was reliant on the English subtitles. As a result I missed out on some of the finer nuances of the performance. However, the acting I was able to observe between quickly reading the lines was phenomenal. It was with a heavy heart that I watched as the lives of these two characters unfolded at each other’s hands. 

Despite the superb acting, there were some areas where the play fell flat. There was very little in terms of actual interaction between the two characters. Most of the story was told in the form of narration. Although this did help heighten the drama, it did little for character development. In addition, the ending seemed a little rushed. The play could definitely be longer, with more emphasis on the events of the second half. 

Nevertheless, it was an interesting viewing experience.The lighting and music really contributed to the overall tone, and the themes were uniquely presented in a thought-provoking way.

Feb. 11 - 23

Running Time: 50 minutes

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