White Biting Dog by Judith Thompson
Directed by Nancy Palk
Soulpepper Theatre Company
Michael Young Theatre,
Young Centre for Performing Arts
August 18 to Oct 1st , 2011
Toronto, ON: Two years ago I became a Judith Thompson fan when I saw Palace of The End performed in Vancouver by Alexa Devine, Russell Roberts and Laara Sadiq. I called it "a stunning theatrical experience" and the three monologues still rank in my mind as among the most compelling dramatic writing I have experienced.
White Biting Dog was written much earlier; it won the 1984 Governor-General's Award for Drama. Having also appreciated other earlier Thompson plays, The Crackwalker, and Lion in the Streets, I was eagerly anticipating this show.
Palace of the End by Judith Thompson
Directed by David Bloom, Katrina Dunn, Mindy Parfitt
PAL Theatre, Cardero Street
Touchstone Theatre with Felix Culpa and Horsehoes & Hand Grenades Theatre
May 21 to June 6, 2009
Vancouver, BC: This production of Palace of the End is a simply stunning theatrical experience. Thompson has crafted three powerful monologues based on three real people each with a connection to contemporary Iraq and all three monologues are superbly performed. Although based on news stories and research, as Thompson remarks in the playwright's notes - "the persona ...of each speaker has been created by me." And of course the words they speak spring from her imagination. Yet for me the authentic voices of these three characters ring out in a compelling and utterly believable way.
My Pyramids portrays Lynndie England, the young American soldier who justly or not, became the media symbol of the soldiers charged with abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison. Thompson imagines her on office duty, awaiting trial, after fellow reservist Charles Graner the man who impregnated her, (later to marry another fellow soldier), has been jailed for his part in the abuse.