The Red Priest – Review


The Red Priest Ashley Wright Jamie Koncheck photo Trudie Lee (1)

(l to r) Ashley Wright and  Jamie Koncheck. Photo by Trudie Lee.


The Red Priest (Eight Ways to Say Goodbye)

April 29 – May 17, 2014

Martha Cohen Theatre

Listen to my review from CBC’s Calgary Eyeopener at



For lovers of Vivaldi – Tip of the hat to playwright Mieko Ouchi who did her research on the famed composer and offers up a fairly accurate portrayal of what the latter years his life might have been like. But for those of you who except to be regaled with swaths of his music throughout the show or gain insight into his process or inspirations, no such luck. Vivaldi’s music features lightly in this production that is far more concerned with beautiful (but flawed) writing than about the music itself. MAYBE SEE IT

For the occasional theatre goer – Sure there are the seeds of a story embedded in this play, but it is too subtle to satisfy. Without allowing you to see and savour the budding affection between Vivaldi and his noblewoman student, the audience never really buys the love affair. In addition, scenes composed of only metaphor and one too many monologues will distract and distance you. SKIP IT

For theatre junkies – Ouchi’s writing is haltingly beautiful at times and the performances are strong. But the decision to add a superfluous third character into this production, some questionable design decisions and a narrative that never really takes flight makes this production overly frustrating in too many places. MAYBE SEE IT

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