Reviews: Saint Joan – Shaw Festival
★ ★ ★ /4 Toronto Star – Karen Fricker
“Carroll was drawn to the Shaw Festival, he says in interviews, to work on an ongoing basis with an ensemble of actors on an approach to texts that is playful, responsive, and spontaneous. We see that project launching here, in the cast’s impressive level of comprehension of the script and attentiveness to each other onstage. What’s spoken comes across as real conversations rather than the recitation of lines.”
Toronto Star link
★ ★ ★ /4 Globe and Mail – J. Kelly Nestruck
“There are some lovely performances from the well-known and familiar here – Tom McCamus effortlessly charismatic as the wry voice of English feudalism; Powell bringing both sense and a sense of sex to Dunois; and the marvellous Wade Bogert-O’Brien charmingly petulant as the Dauphin, hopping up and down off a high-chair throne.
Most encouraging are solid debuts from Karl Ang as a chaplain who realizes too late that he has no taste for cruelty; and a sympathetic Andrew Lawrie in a variety of roles.”
Globe and Mail Link
★ ★ ★ /5 Niagara Falls Review – John Law
“Unlike the lavish 1993 production which felt like an IMAX movie, or the previous attempt in 2007 that stripped the set down to its grimy basics, Carroll has his cast operate on a noir, almost futuristic set designed by Judith Bowden. The floors and walls shine, the blackness overwhelming, and much of the lighting stems from an odd, glowing cube which hangs over everything, at times containing the cast.”
Niagara Falls Review link
The Slotkin Letter – Lynn Slotkin
“I found there is a lot of effort to make this production seem provocative, certainly with the illuminate, floating set pieces. In spite of that effort, I think this production of “Saint Joan” is plodding. The result is a disappointment.”
The Slotkin Letter Link
Niagara This Week – Mike Zettel
Veteran Shavian Jim Mezon, especially brings an unexpected sympathy to his role as The Inquisitor, projecting not a ruthless monster but someone tortured by what he must do to save the souls of God’s children.
Finally, and importantly, the proceedings are delivered with a sly humour, much of it found in unusual places, from the brutish way Robert de Baudricourt (Allan Louis) talks to his steward (Andrew Lawrie), to the mutual disdain between the French and the English, to the horrors of the powers that be at the rise of this new “Protestantism” and “nationalism.”
Niagara This Week link
More information about Saint Joan at the Shaw Festival.
Photos Emily Cooper