Having seen what has long been considered “the” performance of this play starring Richard Monette and Richard Donat at Tarragon in 1974, a production that we found astoundingly good, we were nervous about many things: would the play itself stand up after forty years? had we changed too much for it to have the same impact? Could anyone else do justice to the role that Monette had done so perfectly?
Gareth Potter as Hosanna and Oliver Becker as Cuirette pulled it off. Potter demonstrated that he can carry a play and has moved into the first rank of Stratford actors, a big step up from the strong supporting parts he has had in the past. His Hosanna was funny, sad, bitchy, vulgar and tender.
Becker had the supporting role in many ways, but managed to make his character come alive. The audience sympathized with him and his struggle to love Hosanna and convince him that he loved Claude, not just Hosanna. His performance was outstanding.
The play itself stands up to the test of time. It is just as relevant today as when it was written, although the shock of the subject matter is less. At heart it is a play about identity, self acceptance and love, all of which are themes that resonate.
It was good to know that we have not changed too much for the play to have an impact. The impact is different today, as we are certainly more experienced and mature, but not too old to know a good story and good acting!


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
This entry was posted in Gareth Potter, Michel Tremblay, OLiver Becker, Stratford 2011. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Hosanna

  1. Keith says:

    I was concerned about how I'd react to this play, not only because of its impact the last time we saw it but also because we recently saw "Sainte Carmen of The Main" and it seemed quite creaky, even though it was written 5 years after Hosanna.However , we had also seen the Stratford production of "For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again" which was very good, so I had some optimism.Well, Hosanna is much more of a play about individual relationships than Carmen, the Quebec subtext is there, but doesn't overwhelm, so the play holds up.I cannot say it had the same impact as in '74, but we have seen several hundred plays in the meantime and we have done a little (low key) living, so that's to be expected.As it was, Gareth certainly did not let the family honour down and I was much more aware of the Cuirette character as more than just a foil for Hosanna, so I have to say I was particularly impressed with Oliver Becker.A good, and intense, evening of theatre.

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