Playwright: Bettina Von Kampen
Director: Lori Le Mare, Paula Grove
Cast: Paula Grove, Tanis MacArthur, Pamela Gardner, Lori Le Mare, Adam Bergquist
Performed at Lyric Theatre (venue has since, been changed)
Review by: Nicole Williams
Ladies and gentleman, what we have here is a true spectacle, and absolute masterpiece. The Hangman’s Reprise is dramatic, thoughtful and a wonder to behold. This play is everything someone attending the theatre wants. It delivers humour, wit, cleverness, drama and a spectacle for the eyes.
The show begins with a cabaret rolling into town on the very day that eight men have been sentenced to hang for high-treason at Burlington Heights. Hoping to make a profit from the crowd, who has come to see the hangings, the cabaret, or Dr. Maclanahan’s Miracle Elixer, decides to put on a show for the audience.
The Hangman’s Reprise makes use of aerial acrobatics, showcasing various scenes of performers climbing up ropes and dangling from hoops. The use of the acrobatics is stunning. At first I feared that the ropes were simply a gimmick, but Lori Le Mare and Paula Grove dispel this notion quickly using the hanging performers to send a powerful message.
There’s puppetry as well, which provides for the most hilarious tongue-in-cheek performance of King George, a judge, a soldier, and Britannia herself copping a feel of each other and running around like children.
All in all, this review does no justice to The Hangman’s Reprise but if I could convince the reader to go see any play, it would be this one.