In On It
written by Daniel MacIvor
Director – Matthew Spinney
THE EAST MAGAZINE
Nasty Shadows Theatre company have just begun their three-city New Brunswick tour of Daniel MacIvor’s play, ‘In On It’. A minimalistic two-man postmodern piece, ‘In On It’ is essentially a play about itself, rife with clever, poignant dialogue and self-awareness.
As a play, ‘In On It’ is so steeped in postmodernism that even describing its synopsis is a challenge. Two characters, sensible straight-man… [READ MORE] >>>
GRID CITY MAGAZINE
Nasty Shadows have been producing fearless independent theatre for almost 20 years now. Founded in 1999, the company usually surfaces at least once a year to deliver an intimate, stripped down theatre experience for New Brunswick audiences with performances in Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton.
This week the company will stage Daniel MacIvor’s play, In On It, a work that has been described as … [READ MORE] >>>
In On It production weaves three plays into just one
Nasty Shadows production of In On It will remind some audience members of the 2010 Christopher Nolan film Inception. It’s a play, within a play, within a play, but more importantly it’s about two men, their lives and the drama that surrounds them.
Written by Cape Breton native Daniel MacIvor, director Matthew Spinney says this play shows why MacIvor is one of Canada’s best known playwrights.
“MacIvor takes a lot of care with his craft, creating one and two person plays that really explore the depth of what it is to be human,” Spinney said.
Pulling off a play like this takes a pretty competent bunch of actors, he noted. Aside from constant dialogue, it is a minimalist performance with just two men, a jacket and a chair. From here, the audience watches the world within a world form.
Three stories are woven into one with this play. First is a dying man making his final plans, second is two lovers trying to make their relationship work and the final one is two men creating a play.
The play opens with a jacket, lying on the floor in the darkness of the theatre. Then we work through a series of twists and turns, as two characters, This One and That One, create the lives of two friends who are creating the characters in a play, then taking it one step further by having those characters create other ones.
“It is difficult to describe without giving away too much of the plot,” says Spinney. “But everything in this production matters, from the stage direction and dialogue right through to the sound, which we spent a lot of time getting just right. And because everything is so simple and important, as an actor, you are really exposed on stage.”
Spinney said this performance also incorporates meta-theatre, where the story is both on and off the stage. As the audience watches the actors, what the characters imagine becomes real.
“We are talking layers and nuance at a level that rivals the very best storytelling,” said Spinney. “I would even say you are not going to find a better show right now on television or in the movie theatre.”
As a venue, l’Esacaouette is perfect for a play like this, he said. It offers an immediacy and intimacy as you are close to action, listening to the dialogue, drawn into the conversation in ways that are sometimes uncomfortable but bring it all to life in a real way.
Nasty Shadows was founded in the summer of 1999 by a University of New Brunswick student and faculty member. Spinney said the company has always been about providing audiences with thought-provoking, intimate and immediate theatrical creations with a focus on stripped down and minimalistic productions.
© 2017 Times & Transcript (Moncton)
Length: 457 words
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