The Arts

VideoCabaret – Michael Hollingsworth’s The Great War

VideoCabaret – Michael Hollingsworth’s The Great War featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Brilliant is the only word to describe VideoCabaret’s revival of 1992’s The Great War. Sadly, today the debacle of World War 1 resonates keenly.

The style of VideoCabaret is totally distinctive. Set in a black box theatre, the show is a cross between a cartoon, a clown show and a TV close-up. The scenes are short and swift, the character portrayals are satiric, the over-exaggerated costumes are hilarious, but amid the laughter lies searing truth.

Along with Prime Minister Robert Borden and the real-life inept generals, the show also focuses on two fictional officers and two fictional privates who are metaphors for the tragic stupidities of the Western Front.

The excellent seven-member cast plays multiple characters, but if Anand Rajaram does not get nominated for a Dora for his portrayal of the shell-shocked soldier Dave, Quebec nationalist Armand LaVergne, and corrupt Canadian General Sam Hughes, there is no justice.

The Great War continues at the Cameron House for a limited run.

The Great War
Written and directed by Michael Hollingsworth
Starring Greg Campbell, Rick Campbell, Richard Clarkin, Kerry Ann Doherty, Mac Fyfe, Anand Rajaram and Dylan Roberts
Cameron House, May/June, 2010

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