The Arts

White Biting Dog

White Biting Dog featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron
August 23, 2011

White Biting Dog
Soulpepper
Written by Judith Thompson
Directed by Nancy Palk
Performed by Joseph Ziegler, Fiona Reid, Mike Ross, Michaela Washburn and Gregory Prest
Young Centre
Run began Aug. 13, 2011, and continues in repertory

It’s interesting that the two August Soulpepper openings have surreal aspects about them. I just reviewed Ionesco’s Exit The King, and now on deck is Judith Thompson’s White Biting Dog.

The play was a big hit in 1984 and won the Governor-General’s Award for drama. It begins with a young man about to jump off the Don Valley Bridge when a white dog speaks to him.

The dog tells him if he saves his father, he will save himself. Later, when he hears a young woman singing a song about her dog, he assumes she is the white dog in human form.

Ionesco had one strong focus. Thompson has a whole raft of them, which makes for a more rambling script. Years have made me kinder towards the play, and Nancy Palk, in her first directorial stint, has done a terrific job with both character and staging. She is also blessed with a strong cast.

White Biting Dog continues at the Young Centre.

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