by Paula Citron
Soheil Parsa is my kind of director. He is not afraid to infuse magic realism, surrealism and expressionism in his productions for dramatic effect, and his treatment of Ahmed Ghazali’s “The Sheep and the Whale” is as dynamic as it is innovative.
Moroccan/Canadian Ghazali first wrote his play in French and Bobby Theodore has given the text a taut and vibrant translation. Yes, Ghazali rambles, and yes he tries to jamb in too many themes and characters, but cavils aside, he makes for provocative theatre.
The scene is a Russian freighter in the Straits of Gibraltar, and Camellia Koo’s set makes brilliant use of the theatre’s physical structure to create decks and holds. Ghazali’s main plot concerns Arabic and African stowaways trying to get to Europe for a better life. What happens to them on ships is absolutely terrifying when captains try to avoid paying stowaway fines in European ports.
“The Sheep and the Whale” continues until Mar. 11.
From Theatre Passe Muraille, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.