reviewed by Paula Citron
Teacht i Dtir: Voices from Ireland Park
Written by Cathy Murphy and Autumn Smith
Directed by Autumn Smith
Starring Aidan de Salaiz, Eli Ham, Richard Harte, Viv Moore and Cathy Murphy
At Ireland Park, Eireann Quay until Aug. 22
MacKenzieRo, founded by Cathy Murphy and Autumn Smith. is a theatre company devoted to the Irish experience. Their latest play, Voices from Ireland Park, commemorates the 38,000 Irish who arrived in Toronto during the potato famine year of 1847. They came on coffin ships and died in fever sheds.
Taken from archival sources, the play uses inventive physical theatre to tell its stories. The key props are a bodhrán, a traditional Irish hand drum, and a large sheet. The former is the heart beat of those terrible days; the latter is at various times a sail, a shroud and a cloak. The episodic play takes us from the old country to the new as the horrendous events are given human faces.
The moving play is set around the granite slabs and walls that are part of the memorial to this important chapter in Toronto history.
Voices from Ireland Park continues at Ireland Park, Eireann Quay at the foot of Bathurst St. until Aug. 22.