p_love, child_sabrina_reeves

Review: Love, Child

Play unmasks inner conflicts

By Byron Toben

love, child, Anana RydvaldCan it be almost 10 years since Anana Rydvald unleashed her powerful Section O that used many masks to depict events in a Swedish asylum? Well, Tempus doth indeed Fugit along, and this creative lady is back with a new slew of masks in the mesmerizing Love, Child.

Besides creating many masks for her latest show, she has made full use of her mime and physical theatre body movement training (which she teaches at John Abbott) to depict an evangelical grandmother, a missing hippie mother (Magda), two daughters (Lina and Serai), a Hawaiian beach bum and an Indian guru.

Somehow Lina’s loneliness “Don’t Know Who I Am” before swallowing a handful of incapacitating pills is balanced with bits humorous… morning workouts and bits tender… an empty birdcage.

love, child, Anana RydvaldThe whole is presented by her Level 4 Theatre as hosted by Infinitheatre at The Rialto Studio that is on the 4th floor thereof. Director Zach Fraser (recent META winner for The Nisei and the Narnauks) added his touches.

Seated in the front row at the preview I saw, and watching intently, was Howard Rosenstein, who starred in Infini’s Kafka’s Ape. I could not resist asking him if he was jealous of Ms. Rydvald’s ease in slipping her masks on and off as compared to his nightly one hour in building up his ape face. He grudgingly admitted that that thought had crossed his mind although he was more interested in the timing, voice levels and physicality.

love, child, Anana RydvaldMasks in theatre of course go way back to the Greeks. My own first appreciation of their power dates from several of Eugene O’Neill plays, particularly The Great God Brown and Strange Interlude.

There the masks were more the false fronts the actors put on to others, whereas here, Ms. Rydvald uses them to inspire her improvisation of the underlying character.

A bonus for art collectors… various paintings of Indian Buddhist subjects by Ms. Rydvald’s mother, Marianna, are on display and available for sale.

Love, Child continues at the Rialto Studio until December 6.
Tickets: 514 987-1774 or box-office@infinitheatre.com

Images: feature image Sabrina Reeves; other images Infinitheatre.

Byron Toben is the immediate past-president of the Montreal Press Club.

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