The Arts

André Alexis’ Name in Vain (Decalogue Two)

André Alexis’ Name in Vain (Decalogue Two) featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Name in Vain (Decalogue Two)
Tarragon Theatre
Written by André Alexis
Directed by Richard Rose
Performed by Dean Gilmour, Eric Goulem, Richard McMillan, Walter Borden and Sergio Di Zio
Tarragon Theatre Far Studio
Oct. 9 to Oct. 30, 2011

The run of Name in Vain (Decalogue Two) at the Tarragon is over, but it is very noteworthy nonetheless.

This is the first of ten plays that André Alexis is writing on the Decalogue. Name in Vain refers to the second commandment.

Alexis is shaping each commandment to a specific theatrical convention. For example, the second commandment, which is about words, is a play performed in virtual silence. Thus, the very clever Alexis is using the Decalogue to make a statement about theatre itself, assisted and abetted by director Richard Rose.

Name in Vain (Decalogue Two) is set in a monastery. The five actors establish character and situation through physicality. The only words uttered are when one of the monks does take the name of the Lord in vain.

The background noise is the sound of insects and birds as befits a country landscape and monks toiling in their fields.

In short, the whole Decalogue is a fascinating project, particularly the theatricality of each commandment.

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