Surreal SoReal theatre company has lived up to its name in this truly original theatre piece. Written by Jon Lachlan Stewart and directed by Bradley Moss, Dog is a provocative descent into surreal madness and an engrossing experiential encounter that leaves the viewer haunted. The play takes place in the ruptured space that bridges adumbrated recollection, hate-filled delusion, and dystopian fantasy, following a tortured psychotherapist and his pregnant wife as they battle demons internal and external. The characters are a disquieting cross-fertilization of 1950’s nuclear-family caricature, grotesque marionette, and living dolls. They portray a disquieting ambivalence: at once ambrosial and childlike, they also possess a dark abyss of unending pain that spears them in the present by way of past and future generations. Stylistically singular, the direction incorporates voiceover techniques that add a sometimes-chilling echo effect to the characters’ expressions. The themes explored are the ethics of psychotropic treatments (drugs and electroshock therapy), the optimism of science, and the control and secrecy of the burgeoning psychiatry movement. Unnerving and spooky, this psychological drama may not be for everyone, but ought to be seen by anyone who enjoys inspired theatre in Edmonton.

4 ½ out of 5 Stars

Dog runs until March 27th at the Roxy theatre


more in Theatre Review     |     posted Mar 22nd, 2011 at 7:07pm     

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