We Quit Theatre takes over the Cabaret space with a collection of three works, including a trans coming out story made out of other stories; an errant lecture on Shakespearean text analysis; and a series of improvised erotic revisions of bible stories, immortalized to cassette tape live on stage
Presented by We Quit Theatre, a Winnipeg performance collective comprised of Dasha Plett and Gislina Patterson, who are premiering an astonishing three new works at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre.
I Am Your Spaniel, Or, A Midsummer Nights Dream is out-of-the-box wacky in the most wonderful of ways. It opens with a deconstruction of William Shakespeare’s text, which over the years the punctuation and spelling has been mercilessly edited. This unique approach creates noteworthy changes to the meaning and intention of the text. Using A Midsummer Night’s Dream as an example, Gislina takes a seat at a messy desk, delivering a fantastically funny synopsis of the play before diving into the breakdown of the text, exploring its intended meaning and the differences from the original penning.
“A play is a story about the world and the people who inhabit it.”Excerpt from “I Am Your Spaniel, Or, A Midsummer Nights Dream By William Shakespeare By Gislina Patterson”
Under Gislina’s hand, each item on the desk transforms into a character from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, while Dasha manages overhead projections and adds synth sound effects to punctuate the performance.
The show maintains an informal, avant-garde vibe, capturing the essence of live theatre where anything can happen. In this case, the projector equipment unexpectedly stopped working for Gislina, turning the glitch into an enduring moment adding a touch of unpredictability to the performance.
The eclectic music samplings, ranging from iconic Toronto spoken word artist Meryn Cadell to death metal, further contribute to the unconventional atmosphere.
A moment of unexpected drama occurred when someone in the audience fainted, unrelated to the show. The theatre had to clear the space briefly, but upon returning, the performance seamlessly continued, almost feeling like the interruption was part of the show. Indeed, nothing like the theatre for a little drama!
True to the spirit of deconstructing Shakespeare, the performance delves into speculation about his sexuality, adding an intriguing layer to the show’s narrative.
“Once the notes are gone, you’ll never get them back.”Excerpt from “I Am Your Spaniel, Or, A Midsummer Nights Dream By William Shakespeare By Gislina Patterson”
At its core, these two performers are exceptional storytellers, weaving a captivating and thought-provoking performance. The audience responded with a standing ovation, acknowledging the creativity, humour, and unpredictability that defined this innovative theatrical experience.
We Quite Theatre’s next show at Buddies In Bad Times is Passion Play running January 20 & 21, 2024.
I Am Your Spaniel, Or, A Midsummer Nights Dream
By Willian Shakespeare By Gillian Patterson
Buddies In Bad Times
January 18 & 19, 2024
Review by Raymond Helkio for The Reading Salon.