Centaur Theatre Company Presents PARADISE LOST
From January 14th to February 2nd, Montreal-based playwright Erin Shields blasts 2020 wide open by turning heaven and hell upside down in Paradise Lost, a witty, modern, and feminist reimagining of John Milton's account of the first battle between good and evil. Directed by Jackie Maxwell, former Shaw Festival Artistic Director (2002-2016), Canadian stage icon Lucy Peacock recreates the role of Satan, bookended by Amelia Sargisson as Eve and Qasim Khan as Adam. The three original company members from the 2018 Stratford-commissioned hit are supported by the Stratford designers, but the remaining cast, Centaur's largest this season, and the stage management team are all from Montreal.
Eve: Is it me, or did my punishment seem disproportional to yours?
The 17th and 21st centuries are seamlessly intertwined as Satan-as audiences have never seen Satan before-makes a case for her unfair ejection from heaven. As slick as a hi-tech guru on the Ted Talk circuit, she vents her frustration at being cast out and shares her views on oppression and blind obedience to power. She and her rebel army of fallen angels may not have won the war, but there is always revenge and she sees a way to inflict that upon God through the newly created humans He is so enamoured of. Milton's epic poem loses none of its timely potency and relevance as Shields makes deft use of a classic text to illuminate and comment on today's attitudes and issues.
"One of the perks of my job is the chance to introduce Montreal audiences to a dazzling new play. Erin is a brilliant writer with a "wicked" sense of humour; one of the leaders in the new wave of influential Canadian playwrights", said Eda Holmes, Centaur Theatre's Artistic and Executive Director. "Paradise Lost is profound, cheeky, imaginative and provocative. It's hard to miss the uncanny parallels between the Tree of Knowledge and today's ubiquitous internet, accessible through Mac computers proudly displaying the forbidden fruit for a logo! Is it possible that exercising free will to satisfy our insatiable curiosity through unlimited access to information could induce consequences as devastating as losing Eden? That question and the debate around our notions of good and evil, have never been so entertaining!"
Raphael: No angels were harmed in the making of this play.
Paradise Lost won the Quebec Writers Federation Prize for Playwriting and was nominated for a Governor General's Award. Ms. Shields is a recipient of the 2011 Governor General's Award for her play If We Were Birds.
WARNING: there is a brief instance of nudity.
Preview Pre-show Convo:
Thursday January 16 at 7pm will be a rare treat for those who can attend. Eda Holmes will discuss the various aspects of the play's development with playwright Erin Shields, director Jackie Maxwell, and movement coach Valerie Moore. FREE event!
Saturday January 18 following the matinée in Centaur's main floor gallery. Eda Holmes will be taking questions about all things Centaur, and theatre in general. FREE event!
Sunday January 19 at 12:30pm also in Centaur's main floor gallery. Join Lucinda Chodan, the Montreal Gazette's Editor-in-Chief, and Dr. Ildikó Glaser-Hille as they explore Satan's societal role and influence - past and present - and what the various manifestations reveal about the people who created this powerful concept. Refreshments provided by Bonaparte Restaurant. FREE event!
Thursday January 23 and Sunday January 26. Audience members are invited to stay after the evening and matinée performances respectively for insightful Q&A discussions with the cast.
Available at the performances on Friday, January 31 at 8 PM and on Saturday, February 1 at 8 PM
Previews: January 14, 15 & 16, 8:00 PM
Opening: January 17, 8:00 PM
Evenings: Tuesday through Saturday, 8:00 PM
Matinées: Saturday and Sunday, 2:00 PM; Wednesday, January 22, 12:00 PM
Closing: February 2, 2:00 PM
Visit centaurtheatre.com for details.