The Arts

Soulpepper – John Murrell’s Waiting for the Parade

Soulpepper – John Murrell’s Waiting for the Parade featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

John Murrell’s 1977 Waiting for the Parade is Canadian theatre royalty. This snapshot of five Calgary women waiting out World War 2 is being given a reverential production by Soulpepper.

Christina Poddubiuk’s claustrophobic set includes a series of clothes cupboards while above, men’s helmets and army fatigues are suspended from the ceiling. Poddubiuk’s period costumes are gorgeous.

Director Joseph Ziegler’s focus is on character, heightened by the play’s structure of scenes interpolated by monologues. There are some strange choices, though, like beginning the show with the jitterbug when clearly some of these women would not be dancing the jive.

Fiona Byrne shines as the feisty German-born Marta, as do Michelle Monteith as the party girl Catherine, and Krystin Pellerin as the idealistic Eve. Deborah Drakeford is perhaps a bit too rigid as the bossy Janet, and while Nancy Palk gets her laughs as the morbid Margaret, she too is much on one note.

Waiting for the Parade continues at the Young Centre until May 29.

Waiting for the Parade
Written by John Murrell
Directed by Joseph Ziegler
Starring Fiona Byrne, Deborah Drakeford, Michelle Monteith, Nancy Palk and Krystin Pellerin
Young Centre, May 1 to 29, 2010

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