COMMENTARY: Sherlock Holmes and the West End Horror

Anthony and Marcia Milgrom Dodge’s Sherlock Holmes & the West End Horror bills itself as a loving pastiche of all things Sherlock. Its cast of characters features Holmes and Watson alongside an assortment of cultural figures from late-19th-century London, such as Gilbert & Sullivan, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, and George Bernard Shaw. What kind of sparks will fly as Holmes and Watson mingle alongside celebrated Shakespearean actress Ellen Terry, or engage in a duel of wits with Wilde? How will they respond when confronted by Holmes superfan H.G Wells? The theme of history vs. fiction is a big one for this play. “It’s a 21st-century play, based on 20th century characters, based on 19th century stories,” director Lauren Stiers wrote […]

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Commentary: NAC celebrates Oscar Wilde’s 160th birthday

Watching two grown men engage in a verbal sparring match over the consumption of muffins is funny on its own. Whether or not adding a cake fight into the mix of this already absurd scene makes it better is entirely subjective, and the main area of debate for theatre-goers who see the National Arts Centre’s (NAC) current adaptation of the Oscar Wilde classic The Importance of Being Earnest. The entire ensemble, particularly actors Alex McCooeye and Christopher Moriss who played the roles of Algernon and Jack respectively, brought a brand of physical comedy to Wilde’s play that would seem more at home in a 1930’s screwball comedy. Cakes were thrown, heads were smacked, and couches were jumped on far more […]

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Food and Drink Blog: The bohemians, green fairies, and absinthe

Absinthe: the green fairy, the grand wormwood. La fee verte. Thought of as a dangerous hallucinogen, and banned by prohibitionists in the late 19th and early 20th century, absinthe has long had a reputation for being wild and bohemian. If you’ve ever seen Moulin Rouge you might remember the scene where absinthe causes Ewan MacGregor to see visions of Kylie Minogue dressed in a fairy costume screaming with Ozzy Osbourne’s voice. So naturally I’ve always been curious about it. It’s most associated with artists and writers of the avante garde. Painters and poets like Vincent Van Gogh, Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec were all devotees of the green fairy. “After the first glass of absinthe you see things […]

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