Reviewed by Paula Citron
Lu Xun Blossoms
Theatre Smith-Gilmour/Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre
Created and directed by Michele Smith and Dean Gilmour
Performed by Guo Hongbo, Zhao Sihan, Wang Yangmeizi, Adam Paolozza, Michele Smith and Dean Gilmour
Isabel Bader Theatre
Jun. 15 to 19, 2011
Theatre Smith-Gilmour founders, Michele Smith and Dean Gilmour, met at the Paris school of Jacques Lecoq, a master of physical theatre.
Smith and Gilmour devise productions from scratch. Props and sets are minimal as the physical body is used for most elements of the storytelling. Their images can be startling, like creating a person riding in a rickshaw. They also do their own sound effects.
For Luminato, they coproduced a production called Lu Xun Blossoms with the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre. The cast included three Canadians and three young Chinese actors.
Lu Xun (1881-1936) is considered the father of modern Chinese literature. He was a left wing writer revered by the Communist party. The theatre piece Lu Xun Blossoms includes five of his stories.
While one continues to be impressed by the physical aspects of the Smith-Gilmour style, Lu Xun might be a bit too subtle for their kind of story-telling. This show just didn’t excite the same level of interest in terms of content.