The Arts

Soulpepper – Tom Stoppard’s Travesties

Soulpepper – Tom Stoppard’s Travesties featured image

reviewed by Paula Citron

Written by Tom Stoppard
Directed by Joseph Ziegler
Starring Diego Matamoros, Jordan Pettle, David Storch, Oliver Dennis, Kevin Bundy, Maggie Huculak, Krystin Pellerin and Sarah Wilson
At the Young Centre until Mar 21

Soulpepper has a winner in director Joseph Ziegler’s zany production of Tom Stoppard’s 1974 hit Travesties. Stoppard takes us back to the heady days when plays of ideas assumed the audience had intellectual knowledge they could bring with them to the theatre.

Stoppard’s absurdist premise is the meeting of James Joyce, Lenin, and Dada guru Tristan Tzara, all of whom were in Zurich in 1917, as seen through the eyes of a real life British bureaucrat in the consular service called Henry Carr. The characters also take on dramatis personae of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest which adds to the hilarity.

The stodgy Carr is a role made in heaven for Diego Matamoros, while David Storch, Oliver Dennis and Jordan Pettle do good work as Joyce, Lenin and Tzara respectively. Among the women, Sarah Wilson is the weak link as Carr’s sister Gwendolen.

As collisions of philosophy go, Travesties is an absolute classic.

Travesties continues at the Young Centre until Mar. 21.

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