THE SMALL THINGS
THE SMALL THINGS
by Enda Walsh
Nadien Chu & Brian Dooley
Directed by Wayne Paquette
Assistant Director Ayla Gandall
Stage Managed by Sang Sang Lee
Posters & Photographs by Ryan Parker Photography https://ryanparkerphotography.com
Produced by Wayne Paquette, Braydon Dowler-Coltman, & Luc Tellier
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
An old couple in a bare room with a high window are compelled to tell a grisly tale: A village in which people’s tongues are cut out, among other horrific tortures, making them “The Silent.” From the author of Disco Pigs and Bedbound, Once the Musical, and Lazarus (new David Bowie musical) this is a startling Beckettian fable.
WHERE CAN I SEE IT?
The Small Things is a part of the 36th Edmonton International Fringe Festival
La Cite Francophone – Suzanne Thibaudeau Auditorium (8627-91 St)
Friday, August 18 3:30 pm
Saturday, August 19 7:00 pm
Sunday, August 20 12:00 pm
Monday, August 21 7:00 pm
Wednesday, August 23 5:15 pm
Thursday, August 24 1:45 pm
Friday, August 25 10:30 pm
Saturday, August 26 3:30 pm
Sunday, August 27 12:00 pm
WHERE CAN I BUY MY TICKETS?
Tickets for the 2017 Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival
On Sale Now!!
You may purchase your tickets:
- Online: https://tickets.fringetheatre.ca/performances.php?eventId=601:1132
- By phone at (780) 409-1910
- In person at any Festival box offices (locations and times will be announced August 1)
- In person from TIX on the Square or La Cite Francophone
An old man and an old woman, the two old characters in this chilly 2005 play by the Irish playwright Enda Walsh, sit separately onstage, lost in their recollections. They talk and talk; they dare not stop talking. When the flow of words stop, life stops. There’s nothing small about small talk.
In introspective soliloquies punctuated by an alarm clock, the Man (Brian Dooley) recalls his mother, his three-year-old self, bits of this and that about his childhood, his shoes with the red laces, his current bodily state. At a table, the Woman (Nadien Chu) talks to her knickknacks, and chit-chats away about her father, a tyrant who ruled the household, and “the shape of the day,” with a stopwatch, warding off chaos with a timetable.
Gradually, their memories intersect, and in the most harrowing way — with the horrific story of an unspeakable regime that keeps order and routine safe in the world by enforcing silence. It cuts out the people’s tongues. The Woman’s father and the chip shop man work for The Boss Man slicing them out. “The chip shop man has killed his only son.”
They share a breathless story of escape in the woods, in the present tense. In this bleak Beckettian landscape, the Man and the Woman seem to be the last people talking and alive. One of them will have the last word.
Dooley and Chu embrace the weird poetic rhythms of this harsh fable about the power of words in different ways, in Wayne Paquette’s production. He’s piecing together his memories, word by word, in a chain of thought. She’s a warmer, more impulsive sort who speaks words in tumbling bunches, lingers over favourites, and wonders where words “float to” once you’ve said them. “And are you listening to me?” she asks. “Am I the last to speak?” he asks.
The rest is silence. Powerfully acted, and scary.
Liz Nicholls – 12thnight.ca
The man and the woman are together in a room. Talking to each other. Or are they?
Are they sharing a conversation recounting their youth together? Or are they remembering the horrors alone?
Brian Dooley and Nadien Chu star in director Wayne Paquette’s production of The Small Things by Irish playwright Enda Walsh.
The man and the woman exist in a world that has been silenced by literal brute force, people’s tongues removed, to be specific.
They are two who had escaped with their tongues unscathed, and find the power in words, whether through their own monologues with themselves, and regardless whether the words have meaning, or are meaningless chit-chat.
They recall meeting as children, and then the slow descent into madness that grips their village led by two men on a violent mission. At first it’s just the naughty boys and girls. And then all must be silenced.
This well-acted play is a bit of a slow burn, but still maintains its grip on the audience, carried by the solid pacing in the performances of its two leads — both Chu and Dooley help the tension in the story build, capturing the fear that haunts them even decades later.
But, like all dystopias, it is bleak. Cormac McCarthy or Children of Men bleak. The sense of forboding is helped by the minimalists sound design, the warning drum of a tympani makes you feel as if you’re being hunted.
This tone may not appeal to everyone, but it is worth the trip to Cite Francophone for the performances.
3.5 Stars out of 5
Language and horror swirl throughout this ink-black work by Irish playwright Edna Walsh. Produced by Edmonton’s Blarney Productions, The Small Things is a work of punishing brutality powerfully told by local talents Nadien Chu and Brian Dooley—known only as “the woman” and “the man.” Dooley is especially effective, sitting throughout the entire hour but no less devastating for it. Words here are everything. The contorting, tripping, slipping language slowly sketches these two from vague, nearly senile characters into vivid survivors and agents of nightmare-level violence and suffering. Only words are what they have to offer each other, the only thing that gets them through dark days and darker nights. Go to appreciate the richness of Edmonton’s acting depth, but don’t go for a bump of optimism. Not everything has to be feel-good, but this blackness grips you and is hard to shake even after the stage lights go up.
3 stars out of 5
Wayne Paquette – DIRECTOR
Wayne is the artistic director of Blarney Productions, and the artistic coordinator at the Citadel Theatre. Some of his credits include directing Blackbird, The Blonde, the Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead, assistant directing/stage managing The Glass Menagerie, Doubt, A Parable; assistant directing The Wizard of Oz, Shining City, The Forbidden Phoenix (Citadel Theatre); directing The Country; Glorious; The Dazzle; co-directing Almost, Maine, Three Viewings, assistant directing Three Days of Rain, While My Mother Lay Dreaming, Sexy Laundry, Between Yourself and Me (Shadow Theatre); directing Marty Chan’s God’s Eye; Mothership Down (Paper Tiger Productions); Bonnie & Clyde (co-production with BrainPile); Murielle (co production with Promise Productions) 3…2…1 (co-production with Quiet Things Collective); Afterplay, The Christian Brothers, Madagascar, The Good Thief, Rum and Vodka, A Body of Water, Orange Flower Water, Skirmishes, The Year of Magical Thinking, The Age of Arousal, , Mexican Blindness, Full Frontal Diva, MOTE, A Steady Rain, Love Letters, A Slow Air, and Dark Vanilla Jungle.(Blarney Productions). Wayne is producing three plays at the 2017 International Fringe Festival: A Quiet Place (co-production with BrainPile); To Be Moved, and Legoland (Blarney Productions) and directing three plays: Slack Tide (Premiere, co production with Parts and Labour Productions), The Superhero Who Loved Me (Premiere); and The Small Things (Blarney Productions).
Nadien Chu – The Woman
Nadien Chu is a graduate of the BFA Acting Program at the University of Alberta but is originally from Yorkton, Saskatchewan. She is now based out of Edmonton, Alberta. Recent Select Credits: All the Little Animals I have Eaten, One Yellow Rabbit, The Believers, 10/12, Roxy Performance Series, Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike, Alberta Theatre Projects, 9 Parts of Desire, The Maggie Tree, Space//Space, Cleopatra’s Sister, Fourth Graders Present an Unnamed Love Suicide, Cherish, Northern Light Theatre, Ladies Who Lynch, Workshop West, The Merry Wives of Windsor/The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar/The Tempest, Twelfth Night/Othello, TitusAndronicus(Sterling Award)/Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet/Love’s Labour’s Lost, Free Will Shakespeare Festival, Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Penelopiad, August Osage County, Citadel Theatre, The Ugly One, The Crackwalker, Mourning Dove, Kill Your Television, Pig Girl (Sterling Nomination), Palace of the End (Sterling Nomination), Theatre Network, Cuckoos (Sterling Nomination), Edmonton International Fringe Festival.
Brian Dooley – The Man
Brian Dooley is an award winning actor and producer. He is currently Artistic Director of L’UniTheatre. Prior to that Brian was Vice President, Creative for Alliance Atlantis, Edmonton. For over thirty years, Brian has worked throughout the country and abroad. His skills include directing, writing, producing and performing in a variety of media including radio, animation, film, television and the theatre. Trained and educated at the National Theatre School and Bishop’s University, Brian believes passionately in the development of new work and always welcomes the opportunity to lend his support and skills to new plays and playwrights. Brian draws inspiration from the Mexican playwright Victor Hugo Rascon Banda’s fervent message: “The theatre moves, illuminates, disquiets, disturbs, lifts the spirit, reveals, provokes and violates conventions. It is a conversation shared with society. Theatre is the first art to confront emptiness, shadows and silence to make words, movement, lights and life surge forth.”
Ayla Gandall – Assistant Director
Ayla is thrilled to be involved in the Edmonton Fringe Festival with Blarney Productions. It is her first time behind the scenes; she is grateful for the knowledge she has gained from Wayne Paquette and his assembled team. Entering grade 12, she looks forward to digging into her new director’s toolbox for her directing debut at her school’s One Act Festival. Ayla hopes you enjoy the performance as much as she has enjoyed the process.
Sang Sang Lee – Stage Manager
Sang-Sang is very happy to be working on this project with such a great group! Previously, she has worked on Sense & Sensibility, Million Dollar Quartet, West Side Story, Alice in Wonderland, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Evangeline, Avenue Q, One Man, Two Guvnors, Make Mine Love, Clybourne Park, Spamalot, Private Lives, The Sound of Music, The Rocky Horror Show, A Christmas Carol, Billy Bishop Goes to War and As You Like It (Citadel Theatre); Salt Baby (Globe Theatre), Antessy (Concrete Theatre); Merry Wives of Windsor, Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear (Freewill Shakespeare Festival; Don Giovanni (Centre for Opera Studies in Italy); Hunchback (Catalyst Theatre); The Super Groovy 70s, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Mayfield Theatre).
Enda Walsh – PLAYWRIGHT
Enda Walsh is an Irish playwright living in London. He is the winner of numerous international awards, and his work has been translated and produced worldwide. Recent plays: Misterman (Landmark, Ireland), Penelope, The New Electric Ballroom, The Walworth Farce (All Druid Theatre, Ireland). Other plays: Chatroom, The Small Things, Bedbound, Disco Pigs. Shorter plays: How These Desperate Men Talk, Lynndie’s Gotta Gun, Gentrification, My Friend Duplicity, Room 303. Film: Hunger.