A Top 10 Theatre Pick of 2017!
"A fecking great start: Pacific Theatre took a chance with this new theatre company and it paid off big-time. As funny as it is dark, this trip to Leenane is worth it, and marks an auspicious start for one of our city’s newest indie theatre groups."
"The Lonesome West is fecking grand."
"Pitch black comedy is an auspicious start for new Vancouver theatre company."
"As Valene and Coleman, John Voth and Kenton Klassen are absolutely terrific. Matching each other note-for-note, there is a naturalness to their delivery leaving little doubt the two come from the same blood. One can’t help but wonder if the two actors, who are roommates, are giving some life to their characters from experience in the real-world."
"As Father Welsh, Sebastien Archibald is not your stereotypical older, wiser priest, making his fate that much more devastating. Solid in the first act, Archibald absolutely shines in act two. His reading of the letter he has penned to the feuding brothers is riveting."
"Paige Louter gives a nice intensity to Girleen, with small glimpses of vulnerability. As she confesses her taboo love, we feel her pain."
"The Lonesome West is a grand start for Cave Canem Productions, one of Vancouver’s newest independent theatre companies. For the more established Pacific Theatre to take a chance on presenting their first venture was a risk, one which there is little doubt will pay-off."
"This trip to Leenane is worth it. You should take your brother."
"The Lonesome West blazes with lethal verve, not to mention brawling and booze."
"The cast rides this devil’s wheel very well. Klassen and Voth find the right kind of chemistry—sometimes chummy, sometimes vicious—and execute their frequent wrestling matches with a lot of skill."
"Archibald brings a sardonic humour to what might have been a cliché of a role."
"From the moment she steps on-stage, Louter inhabits the character effortlessly."
"Pacific Theatre often punches above its weight, and The Lonesome West is no exception. You wouldn’t expect patricide and Catholicism to be this much fun."
JO LEDINGHAM: http://joledingham.ca/the-lonesome-west/
"These are four excellent performers."
"Dialect coach Adam Henderson has everyone – including Paige Louter as Girleen – sounding more than a biteen Irish."
"Fight director Josh Reynolds makes the rough and tumble absolutely real; there will definitely be bruises on those bodies each night."
"John Voth is big and burly and yet there is something decidedly boyish about Valene, especially in his collection of figurines of the saints which he believes will get him into heaven, and the hoarding of his bags of “crisps”. Like a two-year-old, he guards everything in the house that is his: “my floor, my walls, my table, my chairs” and on and on."
"Coleman, on the other hand, played by Kenton Klassen is nasty, cunning and sly. He knows exactly how to get Valene riled up and takes wicked pleasure in doing it. Where Voth is slower moving on stage, Klassen is quick, darting and waspish. He stings for the sheer pleasure of causing chaos."
"As Girleen, Paige Louter is saucy and pert while hiding a longing for the unattainable Father Welsh, who, if he had any brains not completely addled by booze, would dump the Church and run off with her."
"Against all odds, Sebastien Archibald makes Father Welsh a pitiable character in spite of his drinking and self-loathing. Acting drunk is harder than it looks and Archibald – whom we trust has no experience ‘at all, at all’ in these matters – gets it right."
COLIN THOMAS: https://colinthomas.ca/2017/10/27/lonesome-west
"Because it’s so energetic, surprising, and rhythmic—the feckin’ “fecks” snap through the dialogue like beats on a snare drum—that the texture of the piece is seductive."
"John Voth is doing an excellent job of playing the rhythms as Valene while staying responsive and giving his character an active inner life."
"Josh Reynolds deserves credit for staging the many, often cartoonish fights"
"I unreservedly admire Paige Louter’s work as Girleen. Not only does she get the rough humour right, she also finds the delicacy."
"Sandy Margaret’s detailed set feels filthily authentic, and, with its use of bands including The Pogues, the sound design by Matthew Macdonald-Bain and Curtis Tweedie effectively matches the relentless vitality of the script."
REVIEW VANCOUVER: http://www.reviewvancouver.org/th_lonesome-west2017.htm
"Klassen and Voth are extremely hilarious and very convincing."
"…this production pulls off a lot of good laughs in spite of almost certainly going to hell in a hand-basket for laughing so."
A Top Pick of 2017
"I love me some McDonagh but it has to be done swiftly without sentimentality. This production was a crisp, swinging bat to the stomach and that’s what it needed to be."
"The combined talents of John Voth, Kenton Klassen, Paige Louter and Sebastien Archibald lend themselves to a mesmerizing performance which sucks the audience up, chews them around for a bit and spits them back out dazed but not confused. Moments of immense sensitivity are juxtaposed with excellent comedic timing and four sets of tongues with razor sharp wit."
"The stage fighting is a fierce combination of raging truth and anarchic slapstick worthy of an eighties sitcom."
"Voth and Klassen carry resentment around like it's going out of style and their sibling rivalry is highly credible. Furthermore something quite miraculous is achieved within the first few minutes - two characters who are pretty unlikeable gain a ton of audience appreciation."
"Louter shows a softer side and pours vulnerability onto the little bench. Her delivery is spot-on and welcome feminine balm amidst the testosterone."
"It's offensive, stirring and hilarious. Go. Now."
"The Lonesome West delivers on all that delicious McDonagh depravity. It’s the kind of play that has you laughing to keep from crying, in the best possible way."
"Kenton Klassen and John Voth as the brothers Coleman and Valene were ridiculous and shameful and utterly entertaining"
"Paige Louter’s work playing Girleen Kelleher was beautifully honest in its approach. I appreciated watching her portray a character whose arc is unexpected and heartbreaking."
"Father Welsh, the desperate, put-upon priest of the parish was played to a tee by Sebastien Archibald. Archibald has the gift of comedic timing, something that cannot be undervalued in a play with a twist in every sentence. I was drawn in by his full inhabitation of Father Welsh; even in his most absurd moments, there was a truth to his performance that was captivating."
"And what would an Irish show be without some Irish pub rock? Matthew MacDonald-Bain and Curtis Tweedie crafted a near-perfect soundtrack for ushering in the grit and richness of the Emerald Isle. With Phil Miguel’s understated expertise in lighting and Sandy Margaret’s thoughtful and precise set design, the evocation of a shabby home of two bachelors was successful."
"I was generally impressed with the cast’s ability to commit and pull off the fight scenes and other action onstage that involved precise timing and purposeful movement. Hats off to Josh Reynolds for choreographing movement that would work for the space and the actors."
"All of these separate efforts came together beautifully under the deft and subtle hand of director Evan Frayne. Frayne managed to skillfully wean the bombastic from the ridiculous which isn’t an easy feat when going for cheap laughs can be so appealing. His direction allowed the characters to become believable instead of over-the-top, and it served the production well."
"I had high hopes for this show, and was pleased to find my expectations satisfied. As with many brilliant scripts, it’s basically up to the actors and production team to take a well-written play and screw it up; lucky for Cave Canem, they didn’t. If you’re looking for a night of laughs and you’re willing to risk feeling the need to sink down into your seat and cover your eyes from the inappropriateness of it all: see this show."
"The actors have fantastic chemistry and their banter and stage fight is believable."
"I want to give a shoutout to the Fight Director Josh Reynolds for making the amazing stage fights happen and keeping everyone safe."
"Notable performance is by Sebastien Archibald, who plays the ever-doubting priest. His performance is powerful, not only because of his projection with the yelling and screaming, but also his passion and beliefs in the human race and love carries through his manner and actions towards the brothers."
"Lonesome West is killer good satirical stuff."
"Director Evan Frayne has done a positively inspired job with this cast. The first word I wrote down when the dialogue sprung off the alley-stage floor was Cadence! Mr. Frayne coached his team perfectly and precisely in that respect -- words tumble out of the characters' mouths and trip over one another exactly as life plays out at a typical kitchen table."
"Costumes by Kaitlin Williams were completely appropriate to the times and circumstances."
"Sandy Margaret's functional farmhouse lit by Phil Miguel worked well indeed -- the orange stove was a smokin' good bit of stage property."
"And for its part the playlist background music selected by Matthew Macdonald-Bain & Curtis Tweedie - all clever-&-fun stuff crisply chosen."
"As the Dysfunctional Brothers, Klassen and Voth were exceptional : terrific Irish brogues, wild crescendos and trills of dialogue with a few mellow almost sotte voce moments. Their protracted "I'm sorry" scenes are hilarity beyond words and worth the price of admission by themselves."
"As Girleen Paige Louter -- Ireland trained in theatre -- was a perfect mix of teen teaser tough and soft sentimental wannabe girl friend."
"In all, one of the best-knit casts I've seen in the past year. How lucky I am to have been so engaged by each person in this taut troupe of talent."