Review: Rideau Project


Rideau ProjectI finally got a chance to check out the Rideau Project at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival.
Six of Ottawa’s most exciting new and established francophone and anglophone playwrights were commissioned to write a short play inspired by a location in downtown Ottawa.
There were six short plays and they were (in order):

  • Tourist Thing
  • Cercles Polaires
  • Peace, Land and Bread
  • Bison Mystique
  • The Rhyme of Nicholas Street Gaol
  • Dismissed (Rebut)


Rideau ProjectTourist Thing I liked since it was at the Spider statue at the National Art Gallery.
It was about a guy and a girl who just randomly meet under the Spider.
Both are strangers and just strike up a conversation and taking photos of each other.
Love when they sang the song “Downtown”.
Funny moment when the two actors kissed, there was a big school group of kids and they were giggling, ooohing and ahhing and making alot of noise.
I liked this play but I wasn’t sure if there was a message about mental illness or something since the actress was sort of lying and stuff.

Cercles Polaires, I really didn’t understand because the whole play was in french.
The only thing I understand was the body language and that was funny.
Funny at first one of the people in the group thought there was something was wrong with the actor but he later found out that it was the play.
I think only the part I found that was funny when the actor “jizzed” in his pants.
The music was nice and that was only thing that redeemed for myself enjoying the play.
I just felt there was innuendos with that play.
I heard there will be a English version.

Peace, Land and Bread was inside the Conference Centre.
It was based on Igor Gouzenko.
It was funny and intense.
I enjoyed this one and felt like I was in that time period when it happened.
Wasn’t sure if it was to giggle at some scenes.
But highly great to see.

Bison Mystique was another play that was in French.
Rideau Project
It was under the bridge near the locks.
The only that distracted me was the people biking through them and sometimes people who walked pass the actors.
It was nice for the actors to adlib when they did pass them.
I was surprised when the old man appear, he spoke in English.
Was kind of surprised at that since I thought it was all in French.
Rideau Project
Nice location but they have to do something with the passersby.

The Rhyme of Nicholas Street Gaol was inside the Arts Court’s basement.
If you don’t know the Arts Court/Hostel used to be a jail and that was where people were excuted.
That one very intense and gave me a chill down my spine.
The first few minutes while being down in the dark creepy basement, everything is pitched black.
It was an intense play, some parts made me feel uneasy since it had to do with the guy being hanged.
I didn’t get the grey makeup on their faces, were they suppose to play spirits?
Or was it to show this bleak black and white-ness to it?
Not for the faint of heart if you are clausticphobic or afraid of being in the dark.

Dimissed the final play was outside the Arts Court.
It was about this homeless girl.
It was alright but kind of unsettling for me.
Maybe it was just not my thing to see.
But it does kind of relate to the downtown area of Ottawa.

Overall I had a great three hours checking out Rideau Projects.
It is free but you need to sign up and be on the waiting list since it is popular.
Go and check it out, June 13th is the last day to see it.

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About Ming Wu

Ming Wu - Photographer and blogger from Ottawa, Canada mingwuphotography@gmail.com

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