Lindsay Church, Jesse Clinock  


L-R: Katrisha Villarante, Jesse Clinock, Lindsay Church
Back: David Wallace as WordsworthVital Spark theatre
Spring Forward! created and directed by Joan Bryans

Dates and Venue 5 – 20 April 2011, Mon - Wed at 8 pm (Sat matinee Apr 16 at 2pm) | Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery

Reviewer Ed Farolan

What Joan Bryans did in this piece is collect poetry and music connected to Spring. She goes as far back as Ovid's poems (9-12 AD) upto the 14th century with Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and finally to the present with a hip-hop song satirizing tax time which also takes place in Spring.

The set used is United Players' Rosmersholm, as this show is still on. But she's able to go around it, and when the scene opens, we have the cleaning ladies mentioning the UP production.

The concept is interesting, and this theatre company, formed in Vancouver in 2002, dedicates itself "to breathing fresh life into the old; shining lights in dark corners; and giving voice to the unheard and the forgotten".

It's quite an erudite show. Just from looking at the programme, one learns a lot of things about the history of Spring, from its etymological roots, to the more traditional and contemporary. Poems by Tennyson, Browning, Frost were recited with panache by the actors. Songs that go back to the 1500s upto the Broadway hits of Rodgers and Hammerstein were sung with elan by this talented group of actors and singers.

The innovative mix of poetry, song and dance, and the variety of costumes makes this colourful production something new and different in the theatre scene. The actors who performed did perform with gusto to the enjoyment of the matinee audience last Saturday.

Kudos to Vital Spark Theatre Company for this sparkling production!

© 2011 Ed Farolan