Reviewed by Paula Citron
Duel of Ages
Next Stage Theatre Festival/True Edge Productions
Created by Todd Campbell
Written, directed and performed by various theatre artists, and a large ensemble
Factory Theatre, Jan. 5 to 16, 2011
One expects Fringe productions, even the slightly curated Next Stage Theatre Festival, to be wild and woolly. The entertaining Duel of Ages is the quintessence of a rough and ready show.
Todd Campbell’s True Edge Productions is dedicated to creating theatre built around stage combat. In fact, the most rehearsed parts of Duel of Ages are the actual fight scenes.
The play is comprised of nine vignettes, each one showing how honour was satisfied at a different point in history. Most scenes are based on a true story, and run from medieval chivalry to post modern ninjas.
There is voice-over narration that connects the scenes, but sadly, the producer elected to keep the back curtain closed so the slides were indecipherable.
Different writers and directors worked on different scenes, and there is a huge number of actors deployed. Despite the uneven quality, the history lesson has both interest and humour.
Next Stage Theatre Festival continues at Factory Theatre until Jan. 16