(Granby) CRITICAL / The truth is that we showed up at the Theatre of the Old Rectory this year with some a priori. The rumor about the piece wild Call oscillated between gushing praise and harsh judgment. Two hours later, we came out with an opinion somewhere in between.
As the title suggests, wild Call is set in a call center, theater of everyday life of a fauna that has never really lost its primary instincts. As emphasized by the narrator as a curtain raiser, all these human beasts multiply tactics “to feed, reproduce and outwit their predators.”
The very idea of transposing the animal kingdom in the jungle was a work of the author’s stroke of genius and actor Patrick Goleau. With a subject as rich in comparisons and images, the Old Presbytery could hardly be mistaken. The analogy was handed a fine excuse to probe human nature and through.
So here we are in the presence of deliberately stereotypical characters like the timid beaver, maternal wolf, the ambitious tiger, gruff rhinoceros and cougar in heat, around which are grafted some other minor characters, all played by the quartet of Martin Gougeon (co-author and director), Patrick Goleau, Laurie Gagne and Benjamin Déziel.
They had obviously taken advantage of a few performances before the first media to adjust their game and tighten the staging. Result: the scenes were set clockwork.
Speaking of these multiple tables – that made a unique story – it was sometimes felt to see too. Perhaps could one stretch for some scenes develop a little more. And, thereby, eliminate some weaker (like the toilet with his game too easy words) or less “punchées”.
That said, the text of wild Call us seemed more successful, less immature than it is your turn, offered last summer.
The talent of Martin Gougeon has been repeatedly praised in recent years, but his performance in Call wild leaves no doubt. In his role as boss under pressure, hypertensive, “boutte to all,” the actor Granbyen not playing that laugh; it also brings a human dimension and touching her character. But it is in the skin of the exasperated mother of “Victor beaver” that fully shows the extent of his comic abilities. Side-splitting!
If any distribution pulls out of the game brilliantly, it falls every time the charm of Laurie Gagné, the only girl of the group, who takes without any complex whole rightful place.
Alone or in groups, the young woman shown a accuracy of tone and a natural fool. There was no harm in imagining Miss Gagné successfully break into the world of humor, a dream she had had openly.
More discreet, Patrick Goleau nevertheless remains a safe bet for the small theater, which takes advantage of his talent in abundance for some years.
As for the “new kid” Benjamin Déziel, it predicted a bright future. His confidence and pleasure of playing is contagious.
All this beautiful world is changing in its original soundtrack and in a setting that, again, defies the limits of space and budget. Between each number, enough to the actors to move two or three elements, add some accessories and presto! a new place and a new atmosphere appear.
Taken together, all these small – and large – details necessarily compel admiration.