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|Written by Christine Seabrook|
|Wednesday, 14 October 2009 21:16|
This week, Evolution Theatre presents the Ottawa premiere of the English version of Arabian Night by Roland Schimmelpfennig, translated by David Tushingham.The erotic urban thriller features several award winning local actors and actresses, and will be the first Evolution play co-founder Christopher Bedford has not directed. Stepping into the director's shoes this time is Natalie Joy Quesnel (Third Wall's Betrayal).
Quesnel has worked with several of the cast members before, including Stewart Mathews and Richard Gelinas, and she is excited to be reunited with them again for this production. Describing her cast, she says, "They are five of the best local actors I've ever worked with."
Arabian Night tells the story of five characters, all living in the same building, who find their lives intertwined. Told as a series of braided monologues, each character divulges their most haunting desires, while becoming united on one of the most sweltering nights of the year."You will be surrounded by art, and hopefully open to the unexpected."
Quesnel compares the progression of the narrative to a dream, wherein even though the dreamer may not be able to ascertain the exact meaning, it is nonetheless mysterious, special, and entertaining.
Evolution Theatre has presented several acclaimed contemporary plays in recent years (including mostly recently, pool (no water) at the GCTC) and the tradition and values of the troupe have been maintained throughout all of the productions. Arabian Night, however, pushes the group into new ground with an alternative artistic point of view, given that Christopher Bedford will not be directing the play for the first time since the company's conception.
Quesnel describes Arabian Night as a journey she loves to get lost in, and hopes the audience will as well. She believes the art gallery venue will create an open-minded atmosphere that will add to an audience-member's enjoyment of the play.
"You will be surrounded by art, and hopefully open to the unexpected," says the director. "When one observes an image or a piece of art work, the first step is usually to just take it in and let it wash over you." She encourages audience members to take this same approach to the play, allowing themselves to be enveloped by its winding and mystifying tale.
Arabian Night is playing at the Cube art gallery located at 7 Hamilton St. North, Ottawa ON. Tickets are $15 for students and $20 for adults. It runs from October 14- 24, 2009.