; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: The Mandrake

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Mandrake

Based on "the greatest play in the Italian language," (La Mandragola by Machiavelli), The Mandrake makes its debut here in Vancouver at the Havana Theatre on Commercial Drive. Theatre Pandora introduces us to their new artistic director Tom McLaren who has journeyed over the great oceans from the United Kingdom to be here.

The play itself is a comedic farce revolving around con artists, lust, and a quick paced rapport between the two actors who, in this new take on the story, take on 8 different characters and even rotate characters between one another throughout the play! It's not as confusing as it might sound, as both Valerie Pauwels and Trent Red do a tight job juggling all the roles, and occasionally breaking down that fourth wall to make sure the audience is still on the same page.

It's that breaking of the fourth wall that really pulls together what the shows seeks to convey. In a epilogue of sorts, the actors discuss the role of identity and acting and how in this world we call a stage, we are all but actors taking on whichever identity fits us at the time. By donning different costumes and accents, the actors have managed to showcase that lesson in this vehicle, leaving us to wonder if we truly are who we say we are.

The Mandrake is on now until October 11th at the Havana Theatre.

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