Our 17/18 season takes its final bow – thank you for making it so much fun!

Our 17/18 season takes its final bow – thank you for making it so much fun!

With the closing of Bears we have officially finished our 17/18 season — and what a season! Thank you for taking the journey with us, and making our 17/18 season our most successful one to date.

The cast of Bears gets a well deserved standing ovation! Photo by Roaming the Planet.

With 21 theatrical shows across our three different stages, three great Soft Cedar shows (and more to come!), partnerships with some of the most amazing companies in Vancouver and around the world, and a million amazing memories, it has been a busy year, and we can’t help but get a little nostalgic. Take a peek at a few of the great curtain calls from the season — we bet you can’t help but get a little nostalgic too!

And now it is your turn — take a bow — we couldn’t do any of this without you! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!


 Don’t forget to buy your subscription for our 18/19 season soon. Shows are already filling up!

Thank you for choosing to make The Cultch, and the arts, a part of your life!

Corporate Sponsor Spotlight: Giulio Recchioni from the Italian Cultural Centre

Corporate Sponsor Spotlight: Giulio Recchioni from the Italian Cultural Centre

Giulio Recchioni

Can you tell us how the Italian Cultural Centre first got involved with The Cultch?

Our very first time at The Cultch was in March 2012 with FRESCO, a play the Italian Cultural Centre commissioned from Lucia Frangione and BellaLuna Productions, telling the lesser known story of the internment of Italian citizens in Canada during WW2.

However the first proper partnership with The Cultch was in May 2017 with LA MERDA, featuring a naked Silvia Gallerano sitting on a stool on a dark stage… what a tough show that was!

What has surprised you and your colleagues most about partnering with The Cultch?

I was surprised by the richness and diversification of the shows offered at The Cultch, and also by the number of people that created a community around this historical institution in Vancouver;  some of the audience changes according to what’s playing, but there is also a hard core audience that comes to every show. I think that’s great. They trust The Cultch, they know whatever gets put on stage will be good and will have an impact on them, and they come with an open mind.

Over the years, the Italian Cultural Centre has supported several Cultch shows. Are there any highlights or memorable moments?

I still can’t help but smile when I think of Pss Pss and what they did with the ladder. Pss Pss was a funny show by Compagnia Baccalà that made adults and children laugh with non-verbal humour. In our line of work, cross-generational and cross-cultural are adjectives we use constantly, but this show brilliantly embodied both concepts.

How important do you think it is that the arts organizations continue to cultivate and sustain partnerships with corporate sponsors and local businesses?

It’s of paramount importance. The population is growing in this expensive city, and we are also seeing the consequential multiplication of cultural and artistic organizations. Often putting up cultural activities costs more money than ticket sales can generate, and government grants (municipal, provincial, federal) do not always keep up with the growing demand for funds. I hope more and more thriving businesses will want to share some of their wealth with the local community to keep this city interesting and interested.

What are you curious about right now?

I am curious about the new Creative City Strategy that the City will be rolling out – hopefully soon. There have been a number of explorative meetings to get an idea of what is needed in the arts and culture sector, and I can’t wait to see how all that knowledge will convert into an action plan.

Do you have a favorite show?

This is always such an unfair question… I see a decent number of shows throughout the year, and I have to constantly update my list of favourites. If I had to single out something I saw recently, though – I am a jazz fan, and I was lucky enough to go to Pyatt Hall for the live concert of the great baritone sax player, Gary Smulyan, with strings. He is a powerhouse!


As a registered Canadian charity, The Cultch relies on the support of the community to operate as a cultural hub; bringing diverse and engaging live performance to the stage.
Please consider making a donation today! Contact Natalie Schneck, Development Associate: natalie@thecultch.com; 604.251.1766 x.121
Charitable registration # 11928 1574 RR0001

Announcing the 2018 rEvolver Festival Mainstage!

Announcing the 2018 rEvolver Festival Mainstage!

Two actors perform Shakespeare’s Macbeth without words. A local artist steps into the radical headspace of a suicide bomber. A real-life scientist takes you through the history of women being f&*$ed over for centuries. Two people find love.

Upintheair Theatre is thrilled to be back at The Cultch for the 6th annual rEvolver Theatre Festival. rEvolver runs from May 23th – June 3rd, presenting new work by Vancouver and Canada’s most exciting up and coming performers and theatre creators. Past rEvolver Festivals have included world premieres of hit shows such as Jordan Hall’s ‘Kayak’, Delinquent Theatre’s ‘Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical” (which featured as part of The Cultch’s 2015/16 season) and Mind of a Snail’s gorgeous shadow puppetry in ‘Caws and Effect’.

This year’s programming represents the rich diversity of voices, aesthetics, and styles among Vancouver and Canadian emerging professional theatre makers. The programmed artists are tackling big issues – inequality, climate change, sexual abuse and consent, violence, the impacts of colonialism. They are doing so in unexpected ways, using wit and humour, intelligence, music and the power of bodies in motion to look for ways to move out and forward, and to bring light into the darkness. Join us in seeing all that this incredible community of artists has to offer.

Got to revolverfestival.ca for all the information you need!

Mily Mumford in Distractingly Sexy. Photo by Cal Wood

MAINSTAGE SHOWS:

FREE EVENTS:   

  • The Somewhere Cedar (Micro Performance by Jess Amy Shead, Vancouver)
  • Asking Alice (Micro Performance; Little Mountain Lion Productions, Vancouver)
  • Plunge in collaboration with Resounding Scream Theatre (Vancouver)
  • Updrafts Reading Series featuring new works by emerging playwrights
  • The Speakeasy (Friday’s: late night cocktail hour in the Greenhouse)

Excited by what you see? There are a number of different ways you can purchase tickets!

Carmine Santavenere in Fuchsia Future. Photo by Elliot Vaughan

  1. With the 6-show flex pass, the passholder can see up to six individual shows, take five friends to one show, or any combination in between!
  2. If you can’t see 6 shows, you can still save by purchasing a 3-show pass instead!

And of course, individual tickets are available both through The Cultch’s Box Office and at the door.

Q&A with Titus de Voogdt from The History of the World (Based on Banalities)

A Q&A with Titus de Voogdt from The History of the World (Based on Banalities)

We are so excited to have the Belgian company Kopergietery here with their hit show The History of the World (Based on Banalities). It plays at the York theatre until May 5.

In The History of the World (Based on Banalities), a youngster, Philip, decides to look after his mother in the last months of her life. Starting from run-of-the-mill situations and objects, he embarks on a quirky voyage through her past.

Titus De Voogdt, the performer in The History of the World (Based on Banalities), is a beloved Belgian actor who works for theatre, film and television. He has worked/s with renowned directors as Arne Sierens (theater writer and director) and Felix Van Groeningen (movie director). He also starred as Vincent Bourg in the BBC-series The Missing (2014).

Titus De Voogdt in The History of the World (Based on Banalities). Photo by Phile Desprez

We are so excited to have you here in Vancouver. What makes you most excited about bringing this show to Vancouver?

I have never been here before. Vancouver always had an attraction on me, and I am very happy to finally be here. Besides, I love hiking and fishing so I hope I will get some opportunities in my free time to do so.

You are one of the co-writers of the show — what was the inspiration?

I’ve always been interested in inventions, how things work and stuff is made throughout history. That has been a key inspiration for writing this show.

While I was working on the script, Peter Higgs won a Nobel price for his work on the Higgs-Boson particle. It caught my attention and I started reading up on it. In this way it became a mayor topic in the show…

Your character, Philip, is interested in illusions and fantasy — do you share these interests with him?

I do, although I’m lousy at it, I like to do a coin trick from time to time..

What makes doing this show fun for you?

That it’s quite physical, it feels like a workout to me.

What makes doing this show meaningful for you? 

I hope people who see the show learn a thing or two about science they didn’t knew before. With a bit of luck it even moves them in the process.

Geoffrey Burton and Titus de Voogdt. Photo by Phile Desprez

The History of the World (Based on Banalities) features a musician (Geoffrey Burton- from Hong Kong Dong) who joins you on stage for the show — what is it like doing a show with live rock music?

It’s great, although he claims he is NOT a rock musician. It’s really a dialogue…the music brings the script to a higher level.

You do a lot of film and television work as well as theatre work — what are you working on these days?

Just finished a 12-episode series about a hostage situation in a bank it is called ‘de dag’ meaning ‘the Day.’  In Belgian TV an movies I usually play the bad guy. Don’t ask me why….

The History of the World (Based on Banalities) runs at the York Theatre April 25-May 5, 2018. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Rave Reviews for Hot Brown Honey!

Rave Reviews for Hot Brown Honey!

Have you seen Hot Brown Honey yet? Audiences are going wild for this smash-hit from Australia!

Check out some of the amazing things Vancouver reviewers have had to say about it:

“Is it empowering, exuberant, rousing, fun? Hell, yes. It’s also the show that the world needs right now – has needed for some time, but man, the time is ripe for it” — Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail

“Part hip hop concert, part pep rally, Hot Brown Honey is a loud, proud evening of consciousness raising; a series of lessons on race and gender that says you can have your revolution and dance to it, too” — Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Sun

Hot Brown Honey throws a female-powered dance party that’s well worth joining…What a party!” — Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight

“With its mix of burlesque, circus, dance, beatboxing, and hip-hop, on the surface Hot Brown Honey is like a really great variety show. Layered with the politics of gender, race and colonialism though, it becomes so much more” — Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

Weave Image By Dylan Evans

Hot Brown Honey is more than a show, it is an embodiment of sexual liberation, a celebration of matriarchal ideas and a call to action for a better tomorrow through education and awareness of inherent societal privilege and racial divides. It’s not like anything you have ever seen” — Penny Warwick, Two Cents & Two Pence

Hot Brown Honey is visually mind-blowing with a whole load of talent on stage…There’s singing, dancing, rapping and costumes changes that leave your head swiveling”— Jo Ledingham, joledingham.ca

“Hot Brown Honey is a MUST SEE for EVERYONE… You will leave this show buzzing with energy and ready to rain fire on the patriarchy” — Maddison Miller, The Vancouver Arts Review

“If you enjoy shows that are sassy, sexy and have a social conscious this is definitely for you” — John Jane, Review Vancouver

“It’s raunchy, colourful, mind-boggling and fun” — Entertainment Vancouver

Hot Brown Honey runs at the York Theatre Jan 9-27. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Hot Brown Honey is heating up Manchester!

Hot Brown Honey is heating up Manchester!

We are getting so excited! Hot Brown Honey has begun their #WorldPollinationTour, and Vancouver is on the flight path! From Jan 9-27, these fierce females will be taking over the York Theatre with their fun, fabulous, and patriarch-smashing hit!

As we speak Hot Brown Honey is heating up Manchester. The reviews are buzzing in and they are GREAT! Take a look:

— Make Noise! —

Hair Image By Dylan Evans

★★★★★ “Unlike anything you will have seen before… Smoking hot. If fighting the power is this much fun, we should all get on board and rock the boat a little bit.” – Frankly My Dear

★★★★★ “Busty Beatz [and] Lisa Fa’alafi have created a truly ground-breaking production unlike anything you’ve ever seen before – but will definitely want to see again… An empowering must-see performance full of laughter, joy and truth that is entirely faultless.” – Upstaged Manchester

★★★★★“The Honeys force us on this side of the world to think about the impact of our colonial past that is still having an impact today, centuries after the first colonialists spread their poison across the Pacific region.” – North West End

★★★★★ “A triumph of a show… Fast-paced, sexy, hilarious, and the all-female cast are a seriously talented and fierce bunch… But it’s more than just good entertainment value, behind the glitz of the huge golden beehive and the sassy dance routines there’s an important message which seeks to confront and challenge our perceptions of racial stereotypes and sexism.” – Northern Soul

★★★★ “A brave, and thought-provoking show… If you fancy something a little different this festive season: a show with plenty of attitude and sass then Hot Brown Honey is the show for you.” – The Reviews Hub

“Fearless, resolute and downright entertaining… The women of Hot Brown Honey simultaneously raise the roof and your consciousness.” – Circles & Stalls

“The[se] luscious ladies leave the audience on their feet shaking their booties to some sweet tunes… It creates such a party atmosphere… A celebration… The exact type of excitement and energy that could begin a revolution.” – Culturebean

Hot Brown Honey is not trying to encourage or give space for reflection and debate, but rather to utterly subvert the patriarchal world view and to urge action. Subtlety is not the path to revolution.” – Unrestricted Views

“A flamboyant evening of cabaret entertainment… Fighting the power never tasted so sweet… Just brilliant, a complete blast from start to finish.” – The Greater Manchester Reviewer

Hot Brown Honey runs at the York Theatre Jan 9-27. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Vancouver is excited for East Van Panto: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves!

Vancouver is excited for East Van Panto: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves!

Ming Hudson plays Snow White in East Van Panto: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves. Photo by Tim Matheson

It’s almost here! Theatre Replacement’s East Van Panto: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves opens Friday, December 1 in the York Theatre! We can hardly wait!

Vancouver is buzzing with Panto fever! Check out some of the amazing press coverage to answer all of your Panto questions:

  • Have you ever wanted to know how Theatre Replacement decided to start doing the East Van Panto? 

“The whole thing came from wanting to make something our kids would want to watch,” say James Long. You can read more about it in his interview with Artslandia. 

  • Have you ever wondered how they come up with the quirky music?

In this Georgia Straight Interview, Veda Hille say, “It has to be a song everybody knows and loves; it has to fit in the right place in the arc of the piece; it has to have a good pun in the main title or chorus of the song that suits the script.”

Allan Zinyk plays the Queen in East Van Panto: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves. Photo by Tim Matheson

  • Have you ever wondered why it is so gosh darned hilarious to make fun of East Van?

“What is theatre but a mirror – a magic mirror on the wall, if you will…We go to the theatre to learn about ourselves and laugh at ourselves. When you have a place as unique and as interesting as East Vancouver, or Vancouver proper, there’s so much material there to draw upon.” Says Ming Hudson, in this Westender article. Hudson plays Snow White in this latest installment of East Van Panto: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves

“Snow White gets Panto treatment” – The Province

  • Have you ever wanted to know how they keep coming up with such great shows?

Writer, Mark Chavez, says, “…Anita and I are surrounded by very a very smart, creative group of people who all want to make this show as funny and ridiculous and beautiful as it can be.

You may have seen this article in either the The Vancouver Sun or The Province!

  • Or, have you ever wondered what the writer of the Panto’s dream job was as a child?

I think you might be surprised! Read all about it in this Vancouver Presents piece:

20 questions with Mark Chavez


Doesn’t that just wet your appetite for Panto fun!?

P-A-N-T-O!

East Van Panto; Snow White & the Seven Dwarves runs from Nov 29 – Jan 6 at the York Theatre. Tickets are from $22 and can be found here.

Q&A with Governor General award-winning playwright, Colleen Murphy!

Q&A with Governor General award-winning playwright, Colleen Murphy!

Photo by Heidi Hamilton

How did the idea to adapt a Shakespearean text incorporating Bouffon come about?

When Stephen [Drover] asked me to write an adaptation of Titus Andronicus I wondered how to connect with a play I felt was emotionally vacant but intriguing.  “What makes people so angry they kill children?  What is under such rage? Terrible hurt probably, and terrible grief.”

While adapting the play I was the Lee Playwright in Residence at the University of Alberta, working in the same department as Professor Michael Kennard, aka Mump from the incredible duo Mump & Smoot.  Michael teaches clown there and I was inspired by the rigor and the fearlessness he used in his hilarious student presentations.  I felt that given the blood-bath of the 21st century, Bouffon were more suitable to my adaptation because they bring a primal urgency to a story that both begs to be taken seriously and begs not to be taken seriously.

Can you tell us a little bit about the effect that the Bouffon style has on the piece?

The Bouffon style opens up both the emotional and the farcical aspects that are already in Shakespeare’s play.  He must have enjoyed writing it, and there are some beautiful passages, as fine as any he wrote.  The murders and the outrage might even be funny…and the funny is sometimes sad.  The world of revenge is an over-the-top world driven by sad, angry people.

What is something about the show that audiences may be surprised to learn?

Perhaps members of the audience might be surprised to discover that nothing is sacred, that everything is human, including the worse things people do to each other.

Can you describe the show in 3 words?

Fun Meets Death.

What most excites you about bringing this piece to the stage?

Marrying Shakespeare with Bouffon offers another perspective on Titus Andronicus in the 21st century.

Peter Anderson in “The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius”. Photo by Stephen Drover


The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius runs from Nov 22 – Dec 3 at the Cultch’s Historic Theatre. Tickets are from $22 and can be found here.

Everything you never knew about Titus Bouffonius!

Photo of Peter Anderson by Tim Matheson

We’re getting excited about the world premiere of The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius, by Rumble Theatre opening on Nov 23.

This production is a brand-new play from Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Colleen Murphy and it’s a grotesque “bouffon” re-telling of Shakespeare’s most gruesome tragedy, Titus Andronicus.

Now, if you’re familiar with the original play, it won’t surprise you to learn that this version is also full of murder and other dastardly deeds.

Here’s a brief (tongue-in-cheek) synopsis of the play:

Pretty much sums it up!

About her play, Colleen Murphy says, “In the cack-up of the 21st century, clowns are more suitable to my adaptation of Titus Andronicus because they bring a primal urgency to a story that both begs to be taken seriously and begs not to be taken seriously. A bunch of poverty stricken clowns from the gutters acting out their grief and rage at the world; mocking everyone else at the same time”.

“Bouffon”  is a modern French theatre term that was re-coined in the early 1960s by Jacques Lecoq at his L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris to describe a specific style of performance work that has a main focus in the art of mockery.

“The difference between the clown and the bouffon is that while the clown is alone, the bouffon is part of a gang; while we make fun of the clown, the bouffon makes fun of us. At the heart of the bouffon is mockery pushed to the point of parody. The parody isn’t directly offensive with regard to the public; there is no deliberate intention to mock. Bouffons come from elsewhere.”- Jacques LeCoq

We can’t wait to see what Rumble is cooking up. It’s sure to be a provocative and boundary-pushing night at the theatre!


The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius runs from Nov 22 – Dec 3 at the Cultch’s Historic Theatre. Tickets are from $22 and can be found here.

Q&A with reVolver curator, Elysse Cheadle

Q&A with reVolver curator, Elysse Cheadle

Upintheair Theatre is back at The Cultch for the fifth annual rEvolver Theatre Festival. rEvolver runs from May 24th – June 4th, and presents new work by Vancouver and Canada’s most exciting up and coming performers and theatre creators.

We are so pleased that the fabulous Elysse Cheadle, our very own Head Front of House Manager & Volunteer Coordinator, was able to give us a little behind the scene insight into the exciting fifth chapter of this great Vancouver theatre festival.

Elysse Cheadle. Photo by Elliot Vaughan

Elysse, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a theatre-maker, performer, and writer living in Vancouver. I am interested in theatre that is curious and playful, that forces you to consider your own spectatorship, and that carefully uses shape, space, movement, texture, and sound as much as it does text and story.

I also happen to work at The Cultch as the Head Front of House Manager and Volunteer Coordinator and was lucky enough to be this year’s guest curator at The rEvolver Theatre Festival.

How did you come to be guest curator for the rEvolver Festival?

I have been involved in The rEvolver Theatre Festival in the past as a performer in both the Reading Series (The Peaceful Sea – Theatre Elsewhere) and Main Stage Series (The Peaceful Sea – Theatre Elsewhere), and have had my work presented in the festival (Mr.Snortoose and the Machine-Children’s Machine). On all occasions, my festival experience with rEvovler was unique; Dave and Dan really put a lot of effort into selecting artists with interesting perspectives, and then providing the opportunity for them to build connections and community with one another. Being given the encouragement to support and connect with the other artists in the festival has led to long lasting, meaningful artistic relationships. The value of these relationships is as useful to a young artist as the opportunity of having work presented. I think Dave and Dan are very smart that way, and I wanted an opportunity to work with them. Therefore, last Spring when they announced that they were looking for somebody to help curate and produce the festival, I jumped at the opportunity and applied.

What was the experience of programming shows like?

Difficult! I did not anticipate the challenge of trying to examine each selection so holistically; a show can be wonderful, but simply not fit within the larger scope of the festival. For example, we had a lot of applications for one-person shows. Many of them seemed powerful and we really wanted to give them a chance to be presented, but for the sake of diverse programming we could not select all one-person shows. We had several different festivals mapped out with various combinations of pieces. Each of these potential festivals had their strengths and weaknesses. In the end, you have to trust your gut with which to choose – and then, of course, you cross your fingers that the artists accept your offer when you send it to them!

Are there any shows or events you are particularly excited about in this year’s festival? Why?

Oh boy – I think we have a great line-up this year! If I had to pick a few, I would say I am really excited to see The Princess Show (gender bending! bass guitar! lip sync!), NeOn (I missed it at the Fringe this year and continually was told how wonderful it is!), and Soliloquy in English (the concept is so perfectly simple!).

The Princess Show, starring Princess Edward & Abel T. Suckizone

Also, I absolutely love seeing work that is still in process. I think some of the most impactful artistic experiences I have had have happened when being invited in to observe something that is not “done” yet. Artists seem to give themselves more permission to take risks and to try out totally new territory in the earlier stages of creation. Pieces can still feel raw and challenging when they are just finding their shape. Therefore, I am really looking forward to going to Resounding Scream Theatre’s Sunday afternoon event Plunge where we will be invited to watch and discuss three separate pieces that are still in the process of being constructed.

What’s next for you?

I am currently working on expanding a new piece called Fuchsia Futures which is a surrealist domestic drama about a family in the wake of a great loss. It is loosely based on the life of infamous population geneticist George F Price, who is known for boiling down altruistic behavior into a neat little probabilistic equation, before losing his mind in an effort to disprove his own findings. In ‘Fuchsia Futures,’ we follow the family after George’s suicide. There is a lot of humor, and existentialism, and music played on the banjo.

Also, I am going to be performing in a festival in Taiwan in July in a piece called Between Two Rocks by Robert Leveroos.

Elysse in Between Two Rocks. Photo by Lukas Engelhardt


Check out the great line-up of shows happening this year!

Here are four ways you can enjoy this years reVolver Theatre Festival:

  1. With the 6-show flex pass, the passholder can see up to six individual shows, take five friends to one show, or any combination in between!
  2. If you can’t see 6 shows, you can still save by purchasing a 3-show pass instead!
  3. Individual tickets are available both through The Cultch’s Box Office and at the door.
  4. Don’t miss the free performances of Habitats and Plunge

reVolver runs at The Cultch, May 24-Jun 4. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.