The Arts

The Ugly One

The Ugly One featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron
October 7, 2011

The Ugly One
Theatre Smash
Written by Marius von Mayenburg
Directed by Ashlie Corcoran
Performed by David Jansen, Hardee T. Lineham, Naomi Wright and Jesse Aaron Dwyre.
Tarragon Theatre Extra Space
Sept. 30 to Oct. 16, 2011

Contemporary works by hot European playwrights are important. An example is Theatre Smash’s wonderful production of Marius von Mayenburg’s The Ugly One, which premiered in Berlin in 2007.

The Ugly One is written as a fable, and deals with important issues like image, identity and perception.

The plot begins with an inventor who works for a large corporation. His boss will not let him present his discovery at a convention because he’s too ugly. First, he confronts his wife who confirms that, yes, he is astonishingly ugly. And so begins von Mayenburg’s twists and turns which also take on the whole obsession with plastic surgery.

The acting is superb. It doesn’t get better than David Jansen, Hardee T. Lineham, Naomi Wright and talented newcomer Jesse Aaron Dwyre. Ashlie Corcoran directs with both passion and humour,

while Camellia Koo’s corporate set is very clever.

The play is short, sweet, and packs a wallop.

The Ugly One continues at Tarragon Theatre Extra Space until Oct. 16.

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