Thursday Theatre Review: Noble Parasites

I wasn't really sure what to expect when I went to see Noble Parasites playing at Theatre Passe Muraille. I'm a big fan of science fiction, but I have to admit that I wasn't sure how it would play on a stage.

All I knew about the production was the blurb on the Theatre Passe Muraille website that says "In the tradition of 1984 and The Handmaid's Tale, Noble Parasites imagines two sinister futures: an underground society on the edge of extinction, and an ultra-modern world on the brink of environmental meltdown."

The end result? It worked for me. It also worked for my show-partner this week, Dorothea. She enjoys the theatre, sees several plays a year, is a fan of science fiction, and writes science fiction. This seemed like the perfect show to ask her to be my partner for.

When I asked her what she thought, Dorothea said that she felt the show was witty and clever and that you "don't usually find witty science fiction, especially dystopic science fiction." She liked the dialogue, the intelligent repartee and humour.

I enjoyed it from the minute I walked into the theatre. I still wasn't sure what to expect, but I was drawn in by the tactile stage. Not that I could actually feel it, but the desire to go touch it was overwhelming. It was all I could do not to walk up and feel the set walls and stage floor. And I wasn't the only one, I watched as someone who didn't resist the urge walked up to the stage and started running his hand over the wall and floor.

The show starts with a rhyme about "pigeon birds", and I have to admit, starting with a rhyme made me a bit trepidatious, but the rhymes was interspersed between conventional speech, and I ended up loving them.

I don't think that you have to be into science fiction to like this show, although it might make you like it more. The play is more than just physical textures and science fiction; as Dorothea said, it's witty and clever, and I think, certainly worth seeing.


- Noble Parasites runs until April 29 at Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson Ave, near Queen and Bathurst)
- Tuesday to Saturday 8pm showtimes, Sunday PWYC matinee at 2pm
- Prices range from $25-$30 depending on the day ($20 for students and seniors)

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