Javaad Alipoor: The Believers Are But Brothers looks at the shape of contemporary violence

Javaad Alipoor: The Believers Are But Brothers looks at the shape of contemporary violence

The Believers Are But Brothers (part of our Ceasefire Series) is in full swing in our Vancity Culture Lab (runs until Nov 10), and it has been getting amazing reviews!

“The textural variety of the show is rich…There’s more to take in than a single viewing affords; that’s an enormous achievement.”— Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight

“The Believers Are But Brothers is about the internet and it’s like the internet: it’s bursting with information and I’m not sure how to make sense of it, but I find it really f**king stimulating.”— Colin Thomas

“It’s an impressive and important show.”—Lincoln Kaye, Vancouver Observer

We had a chat with the writer/director/performer, Javaad Alipoor about creating the show that The Georgia Straight said “clicks all the links”:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a mixed race writer, director, poet, and political/social activist from a city in northern England called Bradford. I tend to make work that tries to encode the questions it asks about the world in the form of the play; whether my own writing like this play or my versions of classic plays. I also do a lot of community and participatory art works, and try to keep my hand in some other stuff too; I helped to set up a campaigning group that defends migrants in the UK, and write about politics and social theory occasionally.

What inspired the creation of The Believers Are But Brothers?

Really, I wanted to decanter the Islamophobic and racist narratives around the war on terror. So if you look at a lot of the ways that so-called “Muslim radicalisation” is talked about its as if we are told there is a problem with Muslim young men. To be slightly tongue in cheek, there’s just a problem with men; and that’s what this play explores.

We are so excited to have you here as part of our Ceasefire Series: An exploration of war to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice of WWI. With this series we set out to start conversations around the cause and effects of war; in what way does this show add to that conversation?

I think there are some ideas in the play that will help people to think about (and ask questions about) the shape of contemporary violence, and in particular how it exists as a sort of fantasy that helps to order a masculinity that finds itself in crisis. From Brexit to Trump, Modi to Bolsonaro, a revanchist and vicious right wing masculinity is ripping through the world. We need to think about what it is, if we are ever going to stop it.

The Believers Are But Brothers is also a co-production with Diwali in BC, and part of this year’s Diwali celebration. We understand that Diwali celebrates “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance”; how do you think that your show brings light and knowledge to issues we are often ignorant of?

I think a lot of the show is about things that people sort of know exist, or have heard of, but that exist just at the corner of vision. The bits of the internet just below the surface, or the young man in the room in the corner of your eye. Hopefully, we turn the light from the centre onto the fringe for a moment or two.

The Believers are but Brothers
Credit: The Other Richard

The Believers Are But Brothers utilizes the app Whatsapp—it is a rare show that people are encouraged to keep their phones on for! How does having people actively engaging via the app change the relationship between you, as the performer, and the audience?

A lot of my work, especially the stuff I write myself, tends to be work that responds to the physical reality of performers and audience being a room together, so in one sense its not all that different. I suppose what this extra level of interactivity brings out is a sense of liveness (weirdly, given that the audience engage through a screen!) that helps me to tell a little bit of the story about the way that we can often be over faces or consumed by the velocity of digital media.

Have you been to Vancouver before? What are you most excited to see or do while you are in town?

I haven’t been here before. I’m really looking forward to seeing some theatre and film here, as well as seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time. I’ve heard pretty great things about BC wine and seafood too.

The Believers Are But Brothers runs in the Vancity Culture Lab until Nov 10. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363. See all three Ceasefire Series shows for as low as $65 with The Cultch’s Choose 3 Subscription package.

The 2018 rEvolver Festival shows are getting RAVE REVIEWS!

The 2018 rEvolver Festival shows are getting RAVE REVIEWS!

Two actors perform Shakespeare’s Macbeth… without words! A dance theatre duet full of charm and laughs! An award-winning Fringe duo tackle the near-post-apocolyptic future! Week 2 of the rEvolver Festival has begun with more incredible shows!

Rave reviews are heating up the rEvolver Festival stage, with Jo Ledingham Theatre Reviews saying “See it!” for La Fille du Laitier’s Macbeth Muet and the Georgia Straight praising writer/director/actor Elysse Cheadle as “wickedly clever” for Fuchsia Future.

MACBETH MUET. Photo Credit: Sophie Gagnon-Bergeron. In Photo: Jérémie Francoeur

Macbeth Muet (La Fille du Laitier- Montreal)

“Mostly it’s the most wildly imaginative take on the Scottish play I’ve ever seen. See it!” ~ Jo Ledingham

“Macbeth Muet is one of the most innovative shows you’ll see this season” ~ Colin Thomas

“…. inventive and oxygenating tiny-cast retelling of Macbeth… sent me back onto the street refreshed, energized and pretty charmed as well” ~ New York Times

Fuchsia Future. Photo Credit: Paula Viitanen Aldazosa. In Photo Left to Right: Carmine Santavenere, Elysse Cheadle

Fuchsia Future (Elysse Cheadle, Vancouver)

Fuchsia Future is packed with these laugh-out-loud moments, and yet it never shies away from its dark side either…Unpretentious and experimental, with a huge heart and a wickedly clever brain, Cheadle is the writer, producer, and colead actor of Fuchsia Future, one of the strangest and most bizarre local plays in recent memory”  ~ Andrea Warner, Georgia Straight

KITT & JANE: : An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future.
Photo credit: Jam Hamidi. In photo: Ingrid Hansen, Rod Peter Jr

Kitt and Jane (SNAFU, Victoria)

“ABSOLUTELY GENIUS. Flawless comedic timing, dynamic physicality, and a beautiful and complex friendship.” ~ New Ottawa Critics

“THIS PLAY IS GOLD. An unexpected roller-coaster of an evening, with whimsical humour, manic energy, and intelligence. You will not leave this show in a bad mood.” ~ West of West

Wanna know more? Check out this preview from Vancouver Presents!

DISTRACTINGLY SEXY. Photo Credit: Cal Wood. In Photo: Mily Mumford

Distractingly Sexy (Nebula Theatre, Vancouver)

“Funny, smart, and, yes, sexy” ~ Meghan Bell, Room Magazine

Wanna know more? Check out this preview piece from The Georgia Straight. “Tracing history with barbed wit… Mumford intermingles tales from the past with contemporary observations from her fields” ~Janet Smith, Georgia Straight


Check out rEvolver’s FREE or BY DONATION events.

PLUNGE: Showcase of Emerging Works in Progress:

the SPEAKEASY: Friday Night cocktails, live music and conversation.


rEvolver runs at The Cultch until June 3. Buy tickets online, or call The Cultch Box Office 604 251 1363

LES FILLES DU ROI is “a triumph”!

LES FILLES DU ROI is “a triumph”!

We are so proud to have partnered up with Urban Ink, Fugue Theatre and Raven Theatre to present Les Fille du Roi. Les Filles du Roi runs until May 27 at the York Theatre. The amazing creators of Children of God (which is coming back to The Cultch due to popular demand, Feb 20 – Mar 10, 2019) have done it again!

Les Filles du Roi is the powerful story of Kateri, a young Mohawk girl, and her brother Jean-Baptiste whose lives are disrupted upon the arrival of les filles du roi in 1665. They forge an unlikely relationship with young fille Marie-Jeanne Lespérance – whose dreams of a new life are more complicated than she could have imagined. Over the course of a year, Mohawk, French and English journeys collide, setting the stage for the Canada we know today. 

Photo by David Cooper. Les Filles du Roi a new musical by Corey Payette & Julie McIsaac. Directed by Corey Payette, Production Design (Set/Costume/Props) by Marshall McMahen, Lighting Design by Jeff Harrison. A Fugue Theatre/RavenTheatre production in association with Urban Ink and The Cultch. Actors: Kayla Dunbar, Chelsea Rose, Cecilly Day, Julie McIsaac (in center), Lisa Goebel, Synthia Yusuf, and Merewyn Comeau.

It has been getting great REVIEWS! Check out a few of them here:

“Les Filles du Roi’s trilingual, feminist-Indigenous musical is a triumph…a work of monumental importance…Go see it” ~ Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight

“Les Filles Du Roi Tells a Powerful Story of Canada’s History” ~ Connal McNamara, Vancouver Weekly

“A sumptuous reimagining of our history…It’s thrilling” ~ Colin Thomas, colinthomas.ca

“If any show deserves a standing ovation, this one does. But don’t take my word for it, see it for yourself” ~Emma Rossland, Two Cents & Two Pence

Wanna know more? Check out what Corey Payette and Julie McIsaac have to say about creating Les Filles du Roi:

Les Filles du Roi is performed in three languages, English, French, and Kanien’kéha (Mohawk). Learn more in this great video:

Les Filles du Roi runs from May 15 – 27, 2018 at York Theatre. 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.

RAVE REVIEWS: Children of God is the show to see this year!

RAVE REVIEWS: Children of God is the show to see this year!

The cast of Children of God | Photo credit: Emily Cooper | Production design by Marshall McMahen and lighting design by Jeff Harrison

If you haven’t yet seen Urban Ink’s Children of God, make sure you book your tickets right away. Reviews are pouring in, and everyone agrees; this is an important work that is not to be missed!

REVIEWS:

“If you see one work of theatre this year, make it this one” – Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail

“A beautiful and very powerful moment of triumphant solidarity between the stage and audience…the kind of reconciliation this country desperately needs but hasn’t yet earned”- Jerry Wasserman, The Vancouver Sun

“This is a brave work, and a starting point for important conversations …See it.” – Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight

Not a dry eye in the house, as far as I could see” – Lincoln Kaye, Vancouver Observer

Children of God will stand as a catharsis for some, an introduction for others, yet a point of connection for us all” – Chelsey Stuyt, Vancouver Presents

“Julia and Tommy’s story will break your heart. Then sort of mend it.” – Jo Ledingham

 “Children of God is necessary…Go see it.” – Colin Thomas, colinthomas.ca

“Children of God is a story of redemption…Payette’s play should certainly be seen by anyone, religious or secular, who has an impassioned sense of injustice.” – John Jane, Review Vancouver

Children of God is a powerful work of living history and it should be seen by audiences across Canada.” – Peter Dickinson, Performance, Place, and Politics

“I don’t remember the last time I saw a more incredible, moving, beautiful or powerful theatrical production” – Emme Rogers, Emmerogers.ca

“[Children of God] lifts us beyond despair with a surprise ending that inspires a communal response. If that sounds vague, it’s meant to be. See it for yourself.” – Paul Durras, Vancouver Plays

“If you call yourself a Canadian then you have a duty to see this dark but illuminating work”- Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

“It was a healing, cathartic, and powerful moment that I won’t soon forget.” – Tessa Perkins Deneault, tessaperkins.ca

“It is obvious to me that this show was created and presented in a spirit of fierce compassion and hope, as is evidenced in the writing, the direction, and the provision of emotional support workers and a talkback. As such, this show is a salve. This is the kind of healing that we need and must decidedly work to carry forth.” – Sarah Thompson, Sad Mag


Children of God runs at the York Theatre, May 17-Jun 3. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Award-winning La Merda makes its North American debut at the Historic Theatre

Award-winning La Merda makes its North American debut at the Historic Theatre

Photo by Marco Pavanelli

History in the making! After sell-out runs in Rome, London, Edinburgh, Copenhagen, Sao Paulo, Madrid and Adelaide, Cristian Ceresoli’s La Merda, performed by legendary Italian performer Silvia Gallerano, opened at the Historic Theatre on May 2. Performed completely naked, Gallerano’s performance is powerful, desperate, vulnerable, and cutting. Don’t miss it; make sure you book your tickets soon!

See what local reviewers have to say about this provocative feminist work:

BOLDLY FEMINIST La Merda unleashes a stream of naked fury” – Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight

“The character is NAKED in every sense. It’s brutal but absolutely RIVETING to watch” – Jo Ledingham, joledingham.ca

“[La Merda] is well worth queuing up for” – Lincoln Kaye, Vancouver Observer

“We in this Vancouver of complacency need to be KICKED IN THE BUTT. Last night Silvia Gallerano did a lot of that.” – Alex Waterhouse Hayward, alexwaterhousehayward.com

“She’s MESMERIZING” – Colin Thomas, colinthomas.com

Photo by Valeria Tomasulo

LA MERDA runs at the Historic Theatre, May 2-13. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Presented with the Italian Cultural Centre

Italian Cultural Centre

REVIEWS: Mump and Smoot in Anything (With Knooma)

REVIEWS: Mump and Smoot in Anything (With Knooma)

Photo by Ian Jackson

Mump and Smoot are back! It’s time to brush up on your Ummomian (the gibberish language spoken in Ummo, the parallel universe Mump and Smoot live in), Canada’s favourite ‘clowns of horror’ are back at The Cultch with their latest production, Mump and Smoot in Anything!  We had a great opening April 27th with tonnes of belly laughs – it was just what the doctor ordered!

Photo by Ian Jackson

 

Check out some of the REVIEWS coming in for Mump and Smoot in Anything:

“Comic horror clowns Mump and Smoot offer more FRIGHT DELIGHT” – Jerry Wasserman, The Vancouver Sun

“My cheeks hurt from grinning so much” – Tiva Quinn, iliveineastvan.com

“A cult classic that returns to Vancouver not often enough…Turner and Kennard are BOUNDLESSLY CREATIVE…”- Jo Ledingham, joledingham.ca

“These self-described “clowns of horror” always CHARM me and always push me towards HYSTERIA. Their latest offering, Mump and Smoot in Anything, is no exception.”– Colin Thomas, colinthomas.ca

“In Mump and Smoot in Anything, as in other Mump and Smoot productions, we are temporarily released from the everyday and delivered into a funhouse universe” – Alexander Varty, The Georgia Straight

Photo by Ian Jackson

MUMP AND SMOOT IN ANYTHING runs at the York Theatre, April 27- May 6. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Rave Reviews for Vertical Influences!

Rave Reviews for Vertical Influences!

The cast of Vertical Influences take a bow! Photo Credit: Roaming the Planet

The Cultch celebrated the opening of a very special show on April 18. Montreal’s Le Patin Libre brought down Britannia Ice Rink with an unprecedented performance – unlike any ice dancing you are likely to have seen! No sparkles, no fuzzy costumes, just pure and beautiful skating!

Check out some of these AMAZING REVIEWS for Vertical Influences:

“Do your body a favour: GO SEE Vertical Influences” – Colin Thomas

“In Vertical Influences, we get five young dancers on skates, wearing ponytails, dreads, and baggy street clothes, VIRTUOSICALLY reinventing the form and PLAYFULLY using it to upend notions of time, space, and physics. With equal amounts of sass and technique, THEY TEAR UP THE SHEET OF ICE” – Janet Smith, The Georgia Straight

Vertical Influences is a STUNNING combination of figure skating and dance” – Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

Vertical Influences is a BEAUTIFUL MASH-UP of sophisticated figure skating with contemporary street dance” – Carly Whetter, Vancouver Magazine

“Five Performers…DAZZLED us with straight ice skating with no tu-tus, or schmaltzy music” – Alex Waterhouse Hayward

VERTICAL INFLUENCES runs at Britannia Ice Rink, April 18-30. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Reviews are in for The Fighting Season…and they are Great!

Reviews are in for The Fighting Season…and they are Great!

Photo by Javier R. Sotres

Last Wednesday we opened The Fighting Season, our first show of 2017, and the winner of the 2015 Cultchivating the Fringe Award. What a way to start!  We are SO happy with the response it has been getting.

The Fighting Season is a deeply poignant play that delves into the heart of the Afghan war through the perspective of three Canadian medical personnel. The play examines the experiences of an OR surgeon, a medic, and a nurse as they deal with their experiences in Afghanistan. The Fighting Season addresses three of the many ways people deal with PTSD, and is partially based on the experiences of local playwright Sean Harris Oliver’s father who was an OR surgeon  in Afghanistan.

The reviews are unanimous, The Fighting Season is not to miss!

“Theatrical make-believe has rarely felt more VISCERAL.” – Jerry Wasserman, The Vancouver Sun

“The performances under the direction of Evan Frayne are uniformly TERRIFIC.”- Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents

“The play feels excruciatingly real and scrupulously HONEST…it’s a powerful piece of theatre made even more potent by three SUPERB performances.” – Jo Ledingham, joledingham.ca

“Visceral and MOVING, The Fighting Season shines as a FASCINATING study of war medics.” – Lauren Chancellor, TheReviewweekly

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Fighting Season is selling fast! Don’t miss it, get your tickets.

The Fighting Season runs until Jan 21, 2016 in the Vancity Culture Lab. Tickets are $35. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363

Motherload Opening Night Photos and Reviews

Motherload made its world premiere last week to great acclaim! This witty, clever, and touching show focuses on the challenges of mothering in the twenty-first century. Audiences and critics are laughing, crying, and sharing the joys and pains of motherhood.

Here are some of the critic and audience reviews:

“Motherload is an intimate gift” – Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

“This social media generation are able to do something that the similarly themed Mom’s The Word was not able to do 15 years ago, as we not only hear the stories but we also get to see the pictures and videos that will make you either squeal with laughter or sigh in recognition” – David C Jones, Vancouver Presents

“Personal photos and videos combined with raw emotion, and unfiltered truth will leave you feeling connected … I laughed (a lot), I cried, and I saw a lot of myself as a mother reflected throughout the show” – Urbanbaby & Toddler Magazine

“Funny, incredibly moving… raw and honest” – yoyomama

“Hey! YOU! Vancouver! Go get your Mom & take her to see Motherload at The Cultch. It’s funny, smart, brave & you’ll cry like a g’damn infant” – Chelah Horsdal @Chelahorsdal

“The writing, the acting (which couldn’t have been easy!), the audiovisuals, the directing – all fantastic! Funny and moving, sad and uplifting. There’s an honesty and a rawness in the autobiographical stories that reveal so much of the complex and contradictory and painful and joyful facets of parenting!” – Jackie

Don’t miss your chance to see this brilliant and touching new production!

Here are some photos from our opening night reception on. All photos were taken by volunteer photographer, Edward Juo.

Untitled-2

Enjoying the post-show reception

IMG_4490

Emelia Symington Fedy chatting with some guests

IMG_4473

Juno Rinaldi spotting the camera

IMG_4478

Star Moms Jody-Kay Marklew & Juno Rinaldi

IMG_4472

Star Moms Sonja Bennet & Emelia Symington Fedy

Motherload runs until February 21 at the Historic Theatre. Tickets start from $19 and are available on our website or by calling the box office at 604-251-1363.