A first for Ottawa theatre duo Aplombusrhombus, Cardinal debuted at the 2016 Ottawa Fringe Festival and earned co-creators Mitchel Rose and Madeleine Hall the festival’s Emerging Artist Award. Billed as “a clown show about Alzheimer’s,” it’s easy to imagine why the show had buzz before opening night. If you missed it, the award-winning Fringe play is going up for one night at Arts Court Theatre this Saturday, December 1st.
The wordless play—which the Ottawa Citizen’s theatre critic called “an early contender for one of the best shows at this year’s Fringe”—is a physical show performed by two actors who represent Memory and Disease, respectively. Apartment613 reviewers praised the show too. You can read excerpts below and find their complete reviews here.
“Very clever… Rose and Hall share excellent chemistry on stage.”
François Levesque, Apt613: “The physicality of their performance, particularly Rose’s turn as ‘memory,’ was striking. He conveys fear, joy and paranoia brilliantly while Hall, as ‘disease’, pokes holes in his memory with all of the mischief of a giddy child.”
Jessica Ruano, Apt613: “Very clever… Rose and Hall share excellent chemistry on stage.”
After Cardinal established Aplombusrhombus, the duo collaborated on a second piece which premiered a year later at the Ottawa Fringe Festival. Their sophomore show Ethel earned Outstanding Production and Outstanding New Work awards from the festival jury—as well as the Apt613 Reviewers’ Pick for Best Play and Best New Work. Both Hall and Rose were Prix Rideau Award nominees in 2017.
They’ve spent the better part of this year revisiting Cardinal for a workshop presentation at Arts Court. The revised play includes a live soundtrack performed by three multi-instrumentalists (Julien Dussault, Angela Schleihauf and Michael C. Duguay) as well as a new set designed by John Doucet.
Cardinal is being performed at Arts Court Theatre (2 Daly Ave) on Saturday December 1 at 8pm. Tickets cost $15 online and at the door.