Publicist/ Staff Writer
Written and directed by this century’s innovative narrator, Michael Hollingsworth, Trudeau and the FLQ sets out to portray the life and predicament of Canada’s legendary Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau, during the October Crisis of 1970. Although essentially set out to embellish the characters and the era, the French and English sides are both equally satirized to depict an intriguing and unbiased presentation of the facts. The production beautifully enlivens some of Canada’s most notable historical figures, setting the foundation to enlighten audiences, regarding our seemingly ignorant and controversial histories.
Beginning in the late 1970s and recognized by the Dora Mavor Moore Awards, VideoCabaret can only be regarded as Canada’s ground-breaking theatre troupe. As the audience eagerly awaits the performance, their physical presence is directly mirrored onto the scrim, serving as a reminder of their historical engagement. The projection fades and the audience is immediately drawn into the early 1960s, beginning with Trudeau’s career and the installment and grouping of le Front de Libération du Québec (FLQ).
The entire performance is played out like a series of political cartoons, with all characters lively embellished, satirized, and mocked. The characters become so interesting that you quickly forget these were once real people with immense historical significance. Due to this, audiences quickly react to the subliminal quips that poke fun at the scenes and situations. Everything from props, to wigs, and makeup are flamboyantly extravagant, allowing for cognition of the social and political references.
Trudeau and the FLQ exists as an immense educational opportunity for younger audiences. Where a portion of Canadian history can be dry, uninteresting, and tedious, Trudeau and the FLQ succeeds at subverting the facts to create endless entertainment and education throughout. Actors Aurora Browne, Greg Campbell, Mac Fyfe, Jacob James, Linda Prystawska, and Michaela Washburn must be commended for their phenomenal performances among a cross-section of both notable and common Canadians.
As part of VideoCabaret series, The History of the Village of Small Huts, Trudeau and the FLQ exists as one of Canada’s greatest interpretations of history experienced. Enough cannot be said about the tremendous impact this show generates within audiences young and old, only to instill a common understanding of our nation’s history. If ever the opportunity presents itself, do not hesitate to purchase your ticket and become immersed with our past.
Soulpepper and VideoCabaret present Trudeau and the FLQ until May 8 at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Tickets range in price from $25-55 for students and adults. Visit www.tickets.youngcentre.ca or call the box office directly at 416.866.8666.
featured in photo: Mac Fyfe