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Ragmop Theatre’s ‘Falling Awake’
Sep 22, 2017 7:00 pm| $20
Falling Awake, a breathtakingly beautiful theatrical production of Ragmop Theatre, is unlike anything that our audiences have seen. Key City Theatre and Western Financial Place have joined to bring this rare treat to Cranbrook live theatre-lovers.
Death and other common experiences . . . coffee, lightning, flash floods and a pinch of salt. A surreal physical comedy about a women and her deceased lover meeting in her dreams.
If they have buskers on the streets of heaven, they’ll look like Nayana Fielkov and “Poki” McCorkle: effortlessly graceful, free of friction or gravity, unperturbed by such arbitrary distinctions as wakefulness versus sleep or life versus death. For an earthly preview, take in Ragmop Theatre’s “Falling Awake,” their Fringe Fest tour de force.
Physically, they’re an unlikely pair. She’s pert and diminutive, with a hypermobile face. He’s gangly and gloomy, a triple-jointed contortionist, his impassive features framed in a gothic arch of moustache and a shaggy cupola coiffure. She vocalizes non-stop, everything from gale-force snores to a cappella trills to long riffs of Slavonically inflected bop talk. He’s virtually voiceless except through such prosthetics as a bird whistle or a kazoo.
Yet in the course of their hour-long farrago, such chemistry builds between them that we’re left with a sense of intense poignancy at the final scene, with the two of them flitting moth puppets around a fading light bulb.
Pathos, though, is hardly the dominant emotion in “Falling Awake.” Rather, expect a lot of surreal slapstick – juggling tricks, table-top can-cans, hoop dances and a wildly erotic son et lumière under the sheets of a vertical bedstead.
All of it serves as a vehicle for extremely high-end circus skills. But there’s never a sense that anything’s thrown into the mix just to show off – not even the ante-penultimate sequence where Fielkov and McCorkle scrunch their pates into a pair of crinkly Noh-style masks for an increasingly vituperative timed round of some sort of board game. It’s what might have happened to Ferdinand and Miranda in The Tempest had they wound up condemned to decades hunched over their chess-board on Prospero’s enchanted isle – a fitting prelude to the final light bulb fade-out.
“An all-access pass into the dreamland” – Edmonton Journal
“A mesmerizing display of physical comedy” – Critics’ Pick -NOW Toronto
“So beautiful that I groaned with pleasure” – Colin Thomas
“Seamless in every aspect” – CJLO Montreal
“Breathtaking physical actors” – Theatre in London
(text courtesy of Key City Theatre)
You can purchase tickets:
- At Key City Theatre box office (20, 14 Avenue North)
- online at https://keycitytheatre.com/
- by phoning 250 426-7006.