Reviewed by Paula Citron
Written by Wajdi Mouawad (translated by Linda Gaboriau)
Directed by Richard Rose
Featuring Dmitry Chepovetsky, Matthew Edison, Vivien Endicott-Douglas, David Fox, Sophie Goulet, Brandon McGibbon, Alon Nashman, Liisa Repo-Martell, Jan Alexandra Smith, RH Thomson and Terry Tweed
Apr. 19 to May 29, 2011
Montreal’s Wajdi Mouawad is a superstar playwright since the English production of his megahit Scorched was performed at the Tarragon. Artistic director Richard Rose is now mounting Mouawad’s Forests.
Mouawad’s dense, epic work will probably win a Nobel literature prize down the line. Forests traces the lineage of family through six generations, and like Scorched, reveals family secrets as it skips back and forth through time. The jump off point is a 16-year-old girl in search of the cause of her mother’s cancer.
Unfortunately, Forests suffers from surreal plot twists, so the audience feels in information overload. Plays that make the audience work are good, but Forests is problematic.
That being said, the 11-member cast includes some of the best actors in the country, who each play several roles. As well, the production values are high and Rose’s direction is tight.
Forests is a mammoth achievement, but in the final analysis, a little disappointing.
Forests continues at Tarragon Theatre until May 29.