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Fringe Festival Preview: Iredea

By Devan Marr on June 16, 2014

Woo Me Myth | Dance, Storytelling | Actual Run Time 60 Minutes

Review by Devan Marr

Editor’s note: For the last five year’s Apartment613 has reviewed every single Ottawa Fringe play in our Fully Fringed initiative. This year we sent Dev Marr to the Montreal Fringe to do a bit of recognisance on some of the plays heading to Ottawa later this week. The Montreal Fringe runs until June 22, while the Ottawa Festival starts this Thursday, June 19. Check out all of Apt613’s reviews here.

When I was told I would be reviewing Iredea, I was worried. Dance is not my strong suit. I fully expected to be sitting in the audience wondering who these people were, what was going on, and why it was so weird.

I was wrong. Iredea is captivating, easily accessible, and downright cool.

Iredea is brought to us by Woo Me Myth, a Montreal company. Through a mixture of dance and narration, the production takes the audience to a future where the Earth has been decimated by nuclear detonations. The play focuses on the story of a woman who is revived from death and sent on a mission to find a man known as the “End Gamer.” Her journey takes her across a desolate wilderness, cleverly portrayed through dance and a combination of pre-recorded and live music.

There are two stories being told in Iredea. The narrator’s tale, which takes on a classic “this is what we think happened” historical account, and the woman’s story, told through the various dance sequences. Without giving too much away, despite following the same sequence of events, they’re not the same story.

The picture of a world ravaged by nuclear holocaust is compelling. Where life and greenery existed, there is now only death and blasted rock: the slate has been wiped clean. The story introduces what remains of humanity. The woman was brought back to life by a Renderer, a member of a class of people who have harnessed technology to survive in this new world. There are wanderers scarred from the blasts that shamble across the landscape, their minds poisoned by toxins and pain. The equivalent of a savage demonstrates a rudimentary theology.The woman encounters several other characters, some human, some not. All together, the cast of Iredea paints a clear, and horrific, picture of a desolate future.

The technical aspects of this production are fantastic. The atmosphere, created through narration and intriguing live music, is immersive. The characters themselves are persuasive and engaging. The dance sequences are fluid, physical, and somewhat envy inducing. I wish I were that agile.

On a final note, Fringe goers might recognize something familiar about this production. While it’s under a different company name and it is a smaller production, Iredea shares the director, choreographer, and cast of The Duck Wife, a 2010 Fringe show that received rave reviews. While Iredea doesn’t sport as large a cast as The Duck Wife, it brings the same level of engagement and story telling. If you liked it, you’ll like Iredea.

Iredea is playing at Studio Multimedia du Conservatoire, 4650 Henri-Julien in Montreal. It’s next show times are Sunday, June 15, at 21:30, Monday, June 16, at 18:15, Thursday, June 19, at 14:45, and Friday, June 20, at 20:00. It will then be travelling to the Ottawa Fringe where it will be staged in Venue 3-Academic Hall. It will be showing on Saturday, June 21, at 20:00, Sunday, June 22, at 18:00, Tuesday June 24, at 20:00, Wednesday, June 25, 23:00, Saturday, June 28, at 12:30, and Sunday, June 29, at 18:00.

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