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Cyclorama is a visit between two solitudes — and two Montreal theatres

This good-natured bilingual docudrama hits the highway between Centaur Theatre and Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui to get to the guts of the linguistic divide.

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Name it a magical Montreal thriller tour. Not that Cyclorama, which performs to Nov. 5 at Centaur Theatre and past, holds any secrets and techniques as to the place the halftime bus can be taking us.

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Ticket-holders know prematurely that the primary hour takes place at Centaur Theatre, the center part on specifically commissioned transport, and the final leg at Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui on St-Denis St.

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No, the thriller on the coronary heart of this entertaining and fact-packed docudrama is why anglophones and francophones are so divided.

It’s a query that has lengthy nagged Laurence Dauphinais, a francophone writer-director-performer who has labored typically with anglophone theatre artists together with Antoine Yared, whom she first met in Repercussion Theatre’s As You Like It in 2009. That’s one purpose Dauphinais selected Yared to carry out in Cyclorama along with her. The 2 of them play themselves as they examine the Two Solitudes phenomenon, together with real-life theatre lecturers Alexandre Cadieux and Erin Hurley.

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As for different attainable causes she selected him, effectively, Yared, or no less than a semi-fictionalized model of himself, want to know the reply to that, too. In any case, as a Stratford Competition common, he hasn’t labored in Montreal for 10 years. Might or not it’s, he wonders aloud, as a result of his Lebanese background will make the present much less white?

Because it seems, Dauphinais’s reasoning isn’t fairly as cynical as that, however Yared’s presence, in addition to a few of his reminiscences, do remind us that the problems round linguistic id in Quebec aren’t as binary as they’re typically made out. His suspicions of Dauphinais’s motives add a contact of typically caustically humorous, typically transferring drama into what may in any other case have been a dry train in simply the information, ma’am.

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Fortunately, these information, introduced with dazzling multimedia results and an interesting sense of simple chumminess from the 4 performers, are hardly ever lower than fascinating, taking us on an imaginative journey via a long time of theatre historical past right here in Montreal.

The bus experience itself is greater than a method to an finish. Specifically recorded voices maintain theatre-goers knowledgeable of the importance of what lies past the home windows. One of many voices is David Fennario, whose groundbreaking bilingual play Balconville premiered on the Centaur in 1979 and whose follow-up play there, The Loss of life of René Levesque, notoriously outraged francophone sensibilities. The truth that we journey up St-Laurent Blvd., that conventional demarcation between French east and English west, is fraught with a significance not misplaced on the passengers.

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Will we get a solution as to why that dividing line has reduce so deep for thus lengthy? Nicely, even the present’s three-hour period — which matches by fairly fleetingly — isn’t almost sufficient time to reach at a satisfying conclusion. However as to the query: “How can we overcome that divide?” A present as considerate and fulfilling as this, which accurately inhabits each linguistic areas in the identical night, is unquestionably headed in the correct route.


Cyclorama performs to Nov. 5 at Centaur Theatre, 453 St-François-Xavier St. Tickets: $45, seniors: $42, under-30s: $38. Name 514-288-3161 or go to

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