The Virgin, The Whore, Something In between: Northern Light announces a new season

Northern Light Theatre 2017-2018 season

By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca

Next season Northern Light Theatre and L’UniThéâtre will share the premiere of a new play by Edmonton’s Cat Walsh, a playwright who specializes in the dark-unto-macabre end of the comedy spectrum.

Trevor Schmidt’s production of Do This In Memory of Me/ Faites Ceci En Mémoire De Moi — which will alternate performances in English and French — continues a collaboration between the two companies that began with Jeffrey Hatcher’s Mercy of a Storm and continued last season with Gratien Gélinas’s The Passion of Narcisse Mondoux.

L’UniThéâtre artistic director Brian Dooley co-stars with Nicole St. Martin in the new Walsh (translated into French by Manon Beaudoin). In the Montreal of 1963, where every sort of liberation seems imminent, the 12-year-old heroine prays to God to change his mind about not letting girls be altar servers. Has her faith been rewarded, her prayers answered, when the star altar boy vanishes on his way home from school?

Do This In Memory Of Me is the centrepiece of the 2017-2018 trio Northern Light has puckishly dubbed its Virgin, Whore, and Something In-between season. The Virgin Mary herself gets to weigh in on the subject in the Colm Tóibín novella-turned-play that opens the season. And she can be pretty scathing.

In The Testament of Mary, we meet the mother of Jesus, post-crucifixion, with her dander up. She has questions, and doubts, about a famous tragic death in her family.

Holly Turner stars in Schmidt’s Canadian premiere production (Oct. 26 to Nov. 4).

The bookend to the season is Slut, a sharp, funny comic take on sexual identity and hypocrisy by the Canadian-born American playwright Brenda McFarlane, whose oeuvre includes such memorable titles as Shut Up, Penis Play, Good in Bed, and Suzi Got Her Lips Tattoed. The character we meet is a woman, pushing 40, who loves sex, spreads the joy around, and gets accused by her neighbours of running a brothel — till she proves she’s a slut. Michelle Todd stars in the Schmidt production that runs April 5 to 14.

Subscriptions: 780-471-1586, northernlighttheatre.com

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