Reviews - Fringe 2009

Being At Home With Claude

By Judith Sandiford
Published July 20, 2009

Actors yelling at me right off the bat at the top of the show is not a good sign. Fortunately this was only one character, the Inspector (played by Lorne Hiro), but it was enough to make my ears ache.

Ryan Fisher, as the manipulative hustler Yves, did his best to help me understand who he was and why. And he does a sensitive take on the definitive monologue.

The script depicts a cat-and-mouse encounter between the Inspector and the Hustler, but what is at stake between them? What exactly is the scandal to be avoided? What has the judge's office got to do with it?

I was baffled at the start, and the script never did set me straight. René-Daniel Dubois' play, set in 1967, written and first produced in Montreal in 1985, has had a distinguished life, including a film version in 1992 - so I guess it's me who is missing something.

I did believe the view of Montreal's gay world, with the hustlers working Dominion Square and Parc Lafontaine, and the anonymous cruising on Mont Royal.

Judith Sandiford is a theatre designer, a visual artist, and Managing Director of Artword Theatre. With partner playwright and director Ronald Weihs, she created and operated a performance facility in Toronto, where, for over 12 years, they created, fostered and presented many original works of theatre and dance. In 2008, Artword relocated to Hamilton where it has just completed its season of four original works with a Hamilton theme. Artword is currently working on its plans for its 2009-2010 season here.

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