Confederation, I and II

Video Cabaret presented these plays at Soulpepper as two sets of two. Confederation I included Confederation and Riel. Confederation II was Scandal and Rebellion. All four  plays concerned the period from 1861 to 1885 and re-introduced us to John A Macdonald, Wilfrid Laurier, George Brown, Georges Etienne Cartier and a host of other characters important around the time of Confederation, the building of the CPR and the Riel rebellion.

The historic figures are revealed with al,their warts and pecadillos, which makes the history funnier and fairer.

An interesting side note was to find out that the Blake House, around the corner from our condo, was named after Edgar Blake, a politician of that era.

And as the characters pointed out several times, it is a long walk from Winnipeg to Ottawa!


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.
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One Response to Confederation, I and II

  1. keithhpotter says:

    We saw these on consecutive nights – one opening and one first preview.
    Both shows had all the virtues of Video Cabaret’s telling of Canada’s history, but they shared some faults.
    They both had a problem with focus. The company is fascinated by its characters and wants to show us all the interesting aspects, whether or not it moves Canada’s story along. Sometimes the colour fleshes-out the characters and makes historical events more real and understandable, but sometimes it just slows things down and clouds the story line – a problem in these two.
    They also had a pacing problem. Showing so many characters requires amazing quick changes and precise positioning by the cast, and in these shows this is a bit off. It is particularly noticeable in the second – delays between scenes and missed lights – but as a first preview, we can cut them some slack on this.
    Despite my grumbles, I think this series should be compulsory viewing for Canadian history classes – tell them the story, watch the show, then discuss. It would really make it come alive!
    We’ll be looking out for the next instalments.

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