Lovecraft is a difficult guy to love
The Other Theatre’s love u lovecraft
By Byron Toben
love u lovecraft is an attempted paen to the pulp fiction loner H.P. Lovecraft. Director Stacey Christodoulou describes this writer as a precursor to such later sci-fi classics as TV’s The Twilight Zone and Cinema’s Alien.
I can see the connection, sort of, particularly the added aspect of horror film, but H.P. is no equal of Wells, Verne, Asimov, Heinlein or Bradbury.
The collective creation is set in a deserted and decayed farmhouse after a meteor has destroyed or mutated the surroundings. The tremblings and fears of the survivors in this bilingual show are largely expressed in dance influenced body movements, punctuated by repetitive head bagging, strangulation, shrouds, crumpling, etc. to continuous mood music.
Between the physical manifestations, an occasional outburst of poetry is spoken by one or another of the three men (Thomas Duret, Marc-Andre Goulet, and Dean Makareno) and two women (Veronique Lachance and Anana Rydvald).
Way back when, Aristotle proclaimed that a play must have a beginning, middle and an ending. With due respect to non linear structuring by The Other Theatre collective, I felt this production was the first one I’ve ever seen that was all middle.
To liven things up, the characters also drop dice or dominos or toy soldiers on the floor which also hosts leaflets to read aloud.
Does this bombed out house bear evil in its remains? The walls are all coloured gray, although one actor declaims on stage that, looking closely, specks of blue or red can be discerned. So?
My conclusion, paraphrasing Pirandello, is this show can also be titled Five Characters in Search of an Abode.
love u lovecraft continues at Théâtre La Chapelle until April 2.
Tickets: 514 843-7738 or lachapelle.org/calendar
Images: Maxime Côté
Byron Toben is the immediate past-president of the Montreal Press Club.